St. Francis To Dedicate Church Organ

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Charles Nwachukwu and the Rev. Rich Simpson pose by the 1914 Hook and Hastings Pipe Organ that makes its home inside of St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden Photo Credit: Daniel Castro
Robert Barney. director of music at Trinity Church in Concord, will perform a selection of musical pieces as part of the service dedicating the organ. Photo Credit: Contributed

HOLDEN, Mass. — St. Francis Episcopal Church in Holden will dedicate its  “new” Hook and Hastings Organ on Nov. 25, with Robert Barney to perform a selection of musical pieces as part of the service.

Built in 1914, the Hook and Hastings Opus 2344 Organ was a gift to St. Francis Church by the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts on behalf of the people of Christ Church, South Barre, after they closed their church's doors.

This past summer, St. Francis contracted with The Organ Clearing House of Charlestown to move, restore, and rebuild the organ at its new home.

As part of the church's dedication celebration, Barney expects to play Bach's Concerto in G, Mendelssohn's Sonata I, and pieces by Gustav Merkel as well as several other pieces and hymns.

Barney has served as director of music at Trinity Church in Concord since 1994 and has taught voice, piano, and organ for more than 30 years. In September of 2009, he was also appointed to the position of artistic director for Youth pro Musica, Boston's oldest choral program for young singers. 

While the costs associated with relocating and refurbishing the organ were not insignificant, they have been fully covered by many generous donations, according to the Rev. Rich Simpson.

In thanksgiving, the vestry at St. Francis unanimously voted to donate the free-will offering that will be collected at this service to support the ministry of parishioners Dianne and Tom Wilson, who will become missionaries with Bishop Martin Barona and the Episcopal Church in El Salvador early in 2013.

"The vestry felt that this designation of the offering is a way for us to show our gratitude for the lovely gift that we have received, and like our patron, St. Francis, to be “instruments of peace” in the wider world," said Simpson.

All are welcome to join St. Francis at 4 p.m., Nov. 25, at the church, 70 Highland St., for the hour-long musical celebration. A reception will follow the service.

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