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A New Pipe Organ for St. Francis de Sales

As we know, Palm Sunday heralds one of the most significant arrivals of all, that of Christ into Jerusalem, thus commencing the most important feast in the Church, Easter and the Resurrection.


This Palm Sunday at St Francis De Sales, we will celebrate Christ’s entry into Jerusalem with the assistance of a newly arrived pipe organ.

This is going to be somewhat of a surprise to most parishioners. To be fair, it is  a surprise even to the small group of people responsible —  particularly the speed with which this has all come about.


It came to our attention that a small pipe organ was for sale in Christchurch. Upon further investigation it was realised that due to its size, capabilities and price ($7000) this truly was a unique opportunity for us to upgrade to a real pipe organ. At the same time, the Catholic Foundation was asking for applications for grants and it was suggested we apply. Our application was successful and we received a grant ($7,000) which enabled us to purchase the organ outright.


To put costs into perspective, upgrading our present organ is in the region of $20,000, to replace it with a new electronic version, $60,000, a new pipe organ along the lines of what we are getting, in excess of $100,000.   We have engaged the services of Dr Ron Newton of New Zealand Organ Manufactory to arrange the installation at a cost of $5000, making the total cost of the organ $12,000. A very kind anonymous member of the parish has loaned us the $5000 for the installation which we will need to fundraise to repay.


The result is that the organ is being installed in the loft on March 24th, 25th and 26th, so barring any problems, it will be available for use on Palm Sunday and Easter celebrations.


When things settle down after Easter we will set about the task of fundraising for the installation cost ($5000).


Should you wish to make a donation please contact the parish office or Fr Geoff Broad.


ORGAN FUND UPDATE – donations to this fund have exceeded expectations, so once the debt has been paid future donations will be set aside for the organ plaques, upkeep etc


We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Catholic Foundation which has certainly made this project a great deal easier by granting us the purchase price of the organ





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Fr. Geoff blesses the new organ before it is tested at 10am Mass on Sunday 28 March 2010.





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The choir loft with its new addition





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The craftsmen responsible for installing the new organ.





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Organist and cantor test drive the new organ at 10am mass.



Palm Sunday 2010