The Organ Chamber

In most of my years as a pastor I've worked inside church buildings. Spending hours each day inside these intricate and labyrinthian buildings I've found a way to get into the corners and crevices of each one. In Winona I visited the bell tower and had a habit of taking the confirmation class up to sit on the bells in their last class session. We climbed the circular staircase, up the wooden ladders, past the bats, and out into the open air where the bells -- who survived a fire decades ago by being coated with water which froze -- rested. (I made sure no one was scheduled to ring them at that time.) This now seems like foolish thing to do, but I think it was a highlight for all of us. (This was the time of my life when I climbed Sugar Loaf freehand, too.)

At Centennial I wandered through the construction project at night with my colleague, checking everything out. And when I discovered the Boy Scouts on the roof I surprised them by joining them.

At Hope I found my way up the ladders and into the hidden storage room, into the off-limits elevator control room, and, when the roofers invited me to inspect the water damage on top of the roof, I scurried up the ladders and peered into the sanctuary from the skylight.

And today, at Fairmount, I got to climb into the organ chamber. Steve is refitting the organ with a new switching system, a project taking much longer than he expected. But he invited me and my camera in to see the mess. It was very dark, but here are some of my photos:

This is the back of the console, where the key hammers connect to the first of the wires.

Here are some of the pipes in the lower level of the organ chamber. I climbed into the second level, but it was so dark my flash just bounced off the pipes. However, there are long pipes and rows and rows of tiny ones up there behind the screen.

This looks like a mother board. It's inside the organ chamber. I don't know what it does, but Steve knows.

This is a macro shot of one of those little hammer thingys.

And a macro of the intricate wiring mechanism.

And the inside of the organ console.

These are details. When all the wires are connected, all the hammers working, all the pipes singing, it is an amazing instrument that fills our sanctuary with joyful sound.


DogBlogger said...

Cool shots!

(I've always been one to explore the church's supposed off-limits spaces, too. But I never thought to take a camera!)

Robyn Coffman said...

Wonderful post!

dogearedpreacher said...

I've been here for 7 years and still haven't found all the secret passageways. (Alas, no bells.)