I am not at all keen on raising funds for pipe organ repairs and restorations. The quakes here in Christchurch have caused quite a bit of pipe organ damage and some signs are emerging of, well, let's just call it quite a lot of dollars being required to repair and restore the damaged organs (with complications in some cases as to whether new church buildings are going to be 'the sort of building that will take a pipe organ'). Now my strong commitment to our freedom in Christ means that I am not going to stand in the way of anyone wishing to donate money towards organ funds, nor am I going to argue against individual parishes making choices as to whether they are going to raise funds required over and above any insurance payouts.
However I am free in Christ too, and I offer the following propositions for consideration:
(1) The virtues and comparative affordability of the latest electronic organs. Most pipe organ restoration and repairs I hear about are more expensive than a superb electronic organ. Once a restoration job is done it is only a matter of time before it needs doing AGAIN and again and again.
(2) Jesus never said anything about the necessity of pipe organs for worshipping God.
(3) It is worth asking the question whether God's kingdom is advanced by restoring and repairing pipe organs.
(4) One decent pipe organ per city is sufficient unto the day thereof. In your city it might even exist in a town hall, not a church, and be maintained by your city council. How good a deal is that!
(5) The future of Christian worship does not require pipe organs and will be managed by a range of instruments way cheaper than a pipe organ.
But the big issue here for the churches of Canterbury is pretty simple: what role do pipe organs play in 21st century mission, and what is that role worth in basic monetary terms?