St Francis of Assisi Catholic Church
Oxford Street, Paddington
Unknown builder (1/5 mechanical and pneumatic), restored J W Walker 1979
Paddington originally formed part of the Sacred Heart Parish, Darlinghurst. The Franciscans were entrusted with the pastoral care of Woollahra and Paddington in November 1879. Paddington was established as a parish in its own right in 1887 and Fr Bernardine Lawler OFM became the first parish priest.
The foundation stone for St Francis of Assisi Church was blessed and laid on March 23rd 1889. Cardinal Moran officially opened the new church on Sunday 22nd June 1890. Only the nave of this church was ever completed. It became obvious that even if the church were completed according tothe original plan, it would still be too small for Paddington's Catholic population. A new church was therefore commissioned. The foundation stone was laid on the last Sunday of July 1917. However, the cost of completing the church immediately was prohibitive and it was decided to make use of the existing portion of the old church as a temporary nave of the new.
The new building (the sanctuary, transepts and sacristies) was blessed and opened on Sunday June 16th 1918. When the cost of the new portion was paid off the whole of the new design was to have been completed. However, phase 2 never eventuated, so our present church consists of the nave of the 1890 church designed by John Barlow, and the transepts, sanctuary and sacristies of the 1919 church designed by Bart Moriarty.
The maker, the date of installation and any prevous history of the organ are unknown. The building frame, wooden pipes, windchest and manual action date from c.1850 but the case, metal pipes and Bourdon are from the early 20th century. The organ was restored in 1979 by J.W. Walker when the swell shutters and pedal were removed.
Keys to Pedal
Mechanical action to manual
Pneumatic action to pedals and drawstops
Lever swell pedal
In May 2016, the organ was relocated to the back gallery by Peter D.G. Jewkes Pty Ltd.
© PdL 2006
Three photos above, Mark Quarmby (Oct. 2007)
Photos above taken by Alan Caradus upon relocation of the organ to the back gallery (May 2016)
Information from Rushworth "Historic Organs of New South Wales" (Hale & Iremonger 1988).