St Mary’s Organ Pipes

Only 107 years after it was designed, the George Croft pipe organ in St Mary’s-in-Holy Trinity has finally received the pipe decoration that was always intended!

George Croft left no indication of design for the pipe decoration so, in consultation with the Selwyn’s Vision Project committee, Studio Carolina Izzo was engaged to design and decorate the pipes. Carolina’s description of the design process is as follows:

“The design began with the classical elements from the Renaissance with the style of the scrolls and the floral patterns. St Mary is acknowledged in a classical scroll of the two letters “A M” for Ave Maria. This “signature” is placed at the top of the largest pipe as a beacon for the Church, saluting Mary, and the many women who have, and who continue to, work and worship within the Anglican faith.

The pipes on either side of the central pipe bear the Fleur de lis – a symbol of Mary. Therefore the three uppermost symbols on the central pipes acknowledge Mary. The banner underneath is a perpetual wave symbolising baptism and faith and also alluding to the natural world of the Pacific and its peoples.

The large design surrounding the languid of the three central pipes, is a bouquet of classical motifs mixed with koru-like scrolls.  The koru is a vital part of Maori design, signifying the unfolding fern frond of our forest floors and also awakening, as the frond threatens to unfurl.  The central part of this design is drawn in to the triquetra or trinity knot, symbolising the holy trinity. The choice of this symbol was inspired by the presence of this motif in the new Bishop Selwyn Chapel.  Above this is the scallop shell, which is a symbol of baptism and also pilgrimage.  The symbol of baptism echoes the place of birth in God’s family and in the society and community of St Mary’s Church.

On the groups of pipes to the left and right of the central pipes the symbol that features most is the star.  This four-pointed golden star (a symbol usually styled to resemble a cross) serves two symbolic purposes – the star represents the birth of Jesus and the purpose for which He was born – to die on the cross.

The colours chosen are a reflection of the interior decorations inside the church.  Blue is very important of course, considering the symbolic association with Mary.  The gold leaf elements for the pipes illuminate well-known religious meaning; spiritually speaking that God is divine, and practically speaking that the material is malleable, long-lasting and beautiful.”

Thank you to Carolina and team for a beautiful and meaningful design. The finished result is truly spectacular!

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