Church of the Good Shepherd, Reading unveils newly restored pipe organ

carol and scottie pipe organ Music minister Carol Abel and the Rev. Mary

Church of the Good Shepherd, Reading, Massachusetts, recently completed the restoration of their 65-year-old pipe organ, which had not been playable for several years. A dedication ceremony is scheduled to take place at the church’s 10 A.M. services on Sunday, September 14. 

With the support of the church’s congregation and vestry, the parish planned a two-step process with the Spencer Organ Company of Waltham to restore the organ with the church’s electrician, Rick Stockwood. 

As part of the first process, the old console (the instrument the organist plays) has been replaced with a newly restored vintage console. This new console has the latest, solid state switching and internal actions available. The shell of the console, which is made of solid oak and mahogany from the early 20th century, was also restored to a beautiful luster.

The second phase of the project included the restoration of the winding system of the organ – the five reservoirs of the organ known as the great, swell, choir and pedal, along with the main static. These reservoirs (boxes that control the wind pressure for each division) were beginning to leak, causing the organ to become unplayable. In the restoration of the reservoirs, all the perishable materials – including the leather, felt, rubber and cloth – were replaced and all of the wood surfaces refinished.

“I am incredibly grateful to everyone in our congregation for all the time, planning and financial support that went into restoring the church organ,” said the Reverend Mary “Scottie” Wagner. “While our music minister, Carol Abel, and our fantastic choir have long provided beautiful music at all of our services, the restoration of our historic organ to its original sound will make the music coming from our church each Sunday all the more amazing. We invite families in the area to join us in our services and to enjoy the beauty of this historic organ as we celebrate all that God gives us.”