June 27, 2014 at 2:49 a.m.

‘Organ donors’ required at St Peter’s church

‘Organ donors’ required at St Peter’s church
‘Organ donors’ required at St Peter’s church

By Robyn [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

The Friends of St Peter’s church are looking for organ donors, but it’s not what you may think.

The church hasn’t fallen on hard times and started working in the black market of illegally obtained organs and tissues; however, they are in need of monetary donations to help with the refurbishment of the church’s 30-year-old organ.

“Ten front pipes had to be taken out for repair and restoration and it’s been undertaken as a project by the Friends of St Peter’s Church,” said The Revd David Raths, the rector of St Peter’s Church, Their Majesties Chappell, in St George’s. 

Because the parts have to be sent overseas to a specialist in organ restoration, the bill has skyrocketed.

“The bill has come to $30,000 and we have received about half of that, some of that was in memory of Mrs Spencer, the former church organist. The organ was her baby,” explained Rev Raths.

Edith Clair Spencer retired as the organist at St Peter’s Church after 38 years of service in 2011. However, she recently passed away. “This project really is in memory of Mrs Spencer,” added Rev Raths.

The organ was replaced in 1984 with a Casavant Baroque Pipe Organ built specifically for the church. Casavant Frères based in Quebec has been building pipe organs since 1879 and has installed organs around the world. 

“The organ was designed specifically for the space, which is a bit of an irregular space,” said Rev Raths. 

The organ features around 900 pipes and is completely mechanical, which makes the instrument much more difficult to build. It’s made from metal rather than wood, to better survive in Bermuda’s climate. 

The restored pipes have arrived back on the island and should be placed back in the organ by the middle of July, said Rev Raths. The organ remains in service even while the pipes are being restored. However, Rev Raths said that while most wouldn’t have noticed any difference, to some it doesn’t sound the same. 


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