• As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:12–17, NRSV)

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Colossae reveals that music was an important aspect of communal worship. And so it has always been. Some churches have resisted instrumental accompaniment, such as the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, but most Christians have been pleased to sing accompanied: often by stringed instruments until pipe organs took over, mainly during the nineteenth century. 

An organ was first installed in St Mary Abchurch in 1822 and has been adapted several times since then. The current organ was built in 1955 and uses pipes from the previous organ as well as new ones. The organ case includes parts from a case made in 1717 for another Wren church – All Hallows, Bread Street – which was demolished in 1877. The case moved to All Hallows, East India Dock Road, before coming to St Mary Abchurch after All Hallows was badly damaged during the Second World War.

The St Mary Abchurch organ is unfortunately unplayable because of the state of the electrics, so a good quality digital organ is in use. The replacement of the wiring and the refurbishment of the organ are on the long list of refurbishment tasks for which the Guild Church Council is attempting to raise funds. 

© Copyright St Mary Abchurch Guild Church Council 2023. All rights reserved.

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