Organ scaffolding comes down, Voicers arrive, and the Pedal Organ casework is revealed

After 9 weeks under wraps behind an enormous height of scaffolding, today the casework covering the Pedal Organ was revealed. This casework, which was designed to complement the rather austere architecture of the Chancel, is absolutely beautiful!

The scaffold comes down


The Pedal Organ casework revealed


Guy Russell and James Atherton arrived on site at Holy Trinity Cathedral this morning to begin the tonal finishing of the new organ.

Guy Russell (R) and James Atherton in front of the organ console

It will take around 5 weeks to complete the Swell, Solo, and Pedal divisions which comprises around 3,000 pipes, including 4 stops of 32′ pitch.

Organs in August

A busy month for the pipe organs at Holy Trinity Cathedral.

Simon Pierce and team were back in the first two weeks of August to continue the restoration work on the St Mary’s organ. While here they fitted sliders seals and repainted the building frame and swell boxes in the original Croft colours.

2016-08-12 Organ builders (3) Nicholson's and St Mary's
The Pierce Pipe Organs team – (L-R) Michael Dawson, Julie Pierce, Simon Pierce, Jamie Hutchinson – with Philip Smith (Cathedral Organist), Michael Stoddart (Director of Music) and the Nicholson team


Their visit coincided with the farewell to the second team of Nicholson & Co organ builders installing the Cathedral organ. This second team worked primarily on the installation of the pedal organ with its four 32 ft stops.

2016-08-12 Organ builders (4)
Nicholson team in the pedal organ: (L-R) Gavin Davidge, Paul Daly, Tim Bennett (Site Foreman), Darren Bingham

The third Nicholson team arrived in NZ last week, in time to unload the fifth container of organ components, including the mobile organ console and the pedal organ casework. They have commenced installing the solo and swell organs. The solo organ includes the first complete string chorus from 16 ft to III Cornet de Violes to be built in the UK since World War II, and another first for New Zealand.

From L-R: Kevin Davies (Site Foreman), Darren Bingham, David Roskelly, Rick Kearsey


The pedal organ casework


Unloading the mobile console


Cathedral Organist, Philip Smith, unveils the mobile console inside Holy Trinity Cathedral







The Bishop Selwyn Chapel is open!

More than 600 people attended the Dedication and Opening Service of the Bishop Selwyn Chapel on Sunday 21 August.

The Very Reverend Jo Kelly-Moore, Dean of Auckland, thanked all those involved in the construction of the Chapel, and The Right Reverend Ross Bay, Bishop of Auckland, thanked the Dean for driving this project through to completion. The Bishop’s sermon is available here on the Holy Trinity Cathedral website.

Bishop Ross knocked on the doors three times with his crozier before marking out the letters Alpha and Omega as he dedicated the Chapel.

This Service marks the physical completion of Holy Trinity Cathedral and the commencement of its journey to consecration in October 2017.

Chapel Opening -8
A full house at Holy Trinity Cathedral for the Bishop Selwyn Chapel Opening Service
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The Right Reverend Bishop Ross Bay, Bishop of Auckland, knocks on the Chapel doors
Chapel Opening -200
The Right Reverend Jim White, Assistant Bishop of Auckland, dedicates the Altar
Chapel Opening -207
The Right Reverend Te Kitohi Pikaahu, Bishop of Te Tai Tokerau, dedicates the Cross


Chapel Opening -21
The Bishop Selwyn Chapel


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Chapel architect, Jeff Fearon, with Dean Jo Kelly-Moore

Photographs by Luci Harrison Photography

Installing the Bishop Selwyn Chapel garden Cross

Another momentous day in the journey of Selwyn’s Vision!

On Thursday 4 August 2016, the Cross for the Bishop Selwyn Chapel was installed in the Trinity Garden at Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Cross was designed by Christchurch-based artist, Neil Dawson.

Yesterday’s install was the culmination of a year-long project. Nine New Zealand artists were approached in 2015 to design a Cross for the Chapel, which would need to sit in the garden. Eight artists submitted proposals, from which two were short-listed, and Neil Dawson’s proposal was finally selected.

It has been a pleasure to work on this project with Neil, a world renowned artist. This will be his first major public sculpture in Auckland in 20 years.

Neil, who is the son of a Methodist Minister, has never designed a cross before, nor any ecclesiastical artwork. Neil says the challenge of designing a unique cross was made easy by the wonderful design of the Chapel, by Fearon Hay Architects. All Neil’s work is about looking ‘through’ objects.  He says the experience of looking through the Cross to the trees in the garden will create constantly changing effects of light, reflection and shadow. Working in concert with the Chapel ceiling, the Cross leans away to create a feeling of ascension.

Neil’s Cross is made from stainless steel tube and bar, and is coated in gold leaf. The Cross is 5.6 m and is elevated on a pole to allow it to visually float amid Bishop Selwyn’s oaks.

Neil worked with a team of people, including structural engineers Ruamoko Solutions, Southern Stainless Steel Fabricators, his assistant Lisa Patterson, and gilder Kate Woodley.

Stainless steel fabrication
Kate Woodley
Gilder Kate Woodley at work
Neil Dawson supervising the foundation excavation
The Cross is removed from the container on a trolley
The crane lifts the Cross …..
….. up past the corner of the Bishop Selwyn Chapel ….


….. around into the garden ….
……. where it is bolted into place on its pole




Neil Dawson with Dean Jo Kelly-Moore in front of the Cross

We are very grateful to Neil and his team for this wonderful sculptural Cross.

32 ft Double Open Wood

A huge milestone for the Cathedral and the organ building world in general this week when the bottom octave of the 32′ Double Open Wood was hoisted into place.

These are the first pipes of this stop to be made for a cathedral since the 1920s, and the first stop of its kind to be installed in a New Zealand organ for over a century.

The pipes, which were made in two or three sections, depending on size, were assembled in the Pedal chamber. Each section was bolted to the wall with resin bonded fixings.

Over the next two weeks this stop will be joined by the rest of the Pedal section of the organ, which includes three more stops of 32′ pitch.

If you are visiting the Cathedral, take the opportunity to look up and see these enormous wooden square structures, as once the casework is installed in front of them, they will never again be visible, however their presence will certainly be felt and heard!

2016_07_20 Nicholson 32 foot 4718
Bolting the fixings to the wall
2016_07_20 Nicholson 32 foot 4728
Tightening the bolts
2016_07_20 Nicholson 32 foot 4744
Preparing to lift the top section onto the lower section
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Fixing the top section to the wall
Philip Smith, Cathedral Organist, in front of Bottom C!

First team of organ builders are on their way home to the UK

Today we farewell Team 1 from Nicholson and Co who have been here for 6 weeks installing the first components of the Cathedral organ.

In 6 very busy weeks they have installed the componentry for the ‘south’ organ (Parnell Road side) and the main casework and pipes.

We look forward to welcoming Team 2 next week.