Cathedral Organ – Console lifted; Main and West Cases installed

A very busy six weeks for the Nicholson & Co team. Two 40ft containers have arrived and been unpacked; the Main and West cases and façade pipes have been installed; and the building frames, soundboards and wind system are all in place.

But the most exciting part of this phase was the lifting of the fixed console. This console weighs over 400kg and was lifted to its permanent home above the Marsden Chapel using a hoist system between two scaffold towers.

Team One have returned to the UK and we look forward to welcoming Team Two tomorrow for the completion of the installation.







Cathedral Organ Stage 1 completed

After 19 continuous weeks of on-site installation, Stage 1 – the Solo, Swell and Pedal organs – of the Holy Trinity Cathedral organ is complete. And it looks and sounds magnificent! As a foretaste of what is to come, we eagerly await completion next year!

The teams from Nicholson & Co have all returned to the UK where they are hard at work building the remainder of the organ – the Great and Choir organs – in time to ship it to NZ for installation commencing in January 2017.

Organ voicers, Guy Russell (R) and James Atherton, in front of the completed south organ

Pipes on the move!

After a wait of 107 years, the façade pipes of the Croft organ in St Mary’s-in-Holy Trinity are having a makeover!

In 1909 George Croft, the designer and builder of the organ, offered the Cathedral the option of stencilling the front pipes, for a grand total of 15 pounds, but unfortunately funds were not forthcoming. Under the Selwyn’s Vision project we are delighted to be able to finally realise this original intention.

St Mary’s organ pipes in situ (before cleaning and decoration)

Art conservator, Carolina Izzo, is undertaking the design and decoration of the pipes at her Parnell studio.  The first job, however, was to clean more than 50 years of dirt from inside and outside of each pipe.

After every pipe had been washed, the team from Studio Carolina Izzo arrived to apply the primer coat.

The pipes were then carried carefully down Parnell Road to their studio in Scarborough Lane.

The decorated pipes will be returned to Holy Trinity Cathedral and installed back into the organ façade of St Mary’s before Christmas 2016.

Holy Trinity Cathedral Choir member, Michael Dawson, at work in the Cathedral carpark cleaning the organ pipes
The clean pipes laid out on the right – note the change in colour after 50 years of dirt removed!


Carolina Izzo (R) with Conservation Assistant, Adele McNutt, assessing the painted pipes


Pipes on the move down Parnell Road!






Organ scaffolding comes down, Voicers arrive, Pedal Organ 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




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
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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


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The Bishop Selwyn Chapel


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

Photographs by Luci Harrison Photography