News and Upcoming Events at CSS

Pastoral Notice - Organist Emeritus Robert J. Russell

Dear People and Friends of Christ & Saint Stephen’s,

Today I write with the sad news that our Organist Emeritus Robert J. Russell died earlier today after a brief struggle with the Covid-19 virus. 

Bob served CSS as Director of Music from 1973 to 2003 and made an impact on Anglican liturgical music not only on West 69th Street, but also the wider church, when he established the CSS Fellow in Church Music program. Many acclaimed Anglican church musicians were Organ Fellows under Bob’s leadership, including our own Nigel Potts, who first came to CSS as a Fellow in Church Music and later returned as Organist and Choirmaster at CSS for several years.  

Bob is survived by his wife Mary Lou, his son David, and daughter Jocelyn. 

Please keep them all in your prayers in the days ahead. 
Condolences may be sent the church office (120 West 69th Street, New York, NY 10023) and we will forward them to Mary Lou.
May he go from strength to strength in the life of perfect service. And may light perpetual shine upon him.
I thought you might like to read the text of the Organist & Choirmaster Emeritus declaration. It witnesses to the affection and esteem the people of CSS have long had for Bob.


Robert J. Russell,

Faithful servant of the Church of God, who devotedly and with uncommon dignity did serve the parish of Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church in the great City of New York from 1973 to 2003, thereby enriching the Worship of the people and contributing to the Greater GLORY OF GOD; and,


During his thirty years of faithful service, he did establish and maintain the Fellow in Church Music Program of Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church, enabling young musicians to acquire experience and knowledge of church music and thereby contributing to the continuance of the great musical tradition of our Anglican Heritage for generations to come, and


By the musical gifts and generosity of spirit displayed by him did nurture the people of Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church in the merits and appreciation of church music and offer them a foretaste of the celestial realms, 

Be it Therefore Resolved,

That the Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of Christ & Saint Stephen’s Church name Robert J. Russell,

Organist & Choirmaster Emeritus.

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