Music and choir
There has been a long tradition of choral singing at St Mary’s for well over 100 years. Choral music is a vital and valued part of the life of our Church. Our services involve singing at the Parish Mass each Sunday and for a service of choral evensong, usually on the first Sunday of the month. Occasionally we sing for weekday services such as Ash Wednesday, during Holy week and also for carol services at Advent and Christmas.
The choir, are a friendly, dedicated and talented group of voluntary singers drawn together by a love of singing sacred music in its liturgical context.
For further information contact the director of music.
Our Director of Music, Laurence brings a strong background of organ study and composition to St Mary’s; through his modern approach to liturgical music, St Mary’s continues to be filled with the sounds of praise throughout the year.
A short history of the organ
In 1521 Stephen Colman left the residue of his goods towards the purchase of a ‘payre of organys’ and in 1552 they appear in the inventory of the church goods. When the church was taken down in 1774, arrangements were made for the organ’s safe custody. Samuel Spencer in about 1790 presented the church with a much larger instrument. Later this was replaced by another, erected by public subscription. This, which stood like its two predecessors in the western gallery, was removed with the gallery in 1881. A new organ was built by Brindley & Foster and placed in the northern transept of the new chancel. In 1952 this organ was enlarged and divided to include pipework in the south gallery by Spurden Rutt & Co with electric action and a detached console under the south gallery.
The present three manual digital ‘Allen’ organ, with speakers in both galleries, has 44 stops, a recording sequencer, crescendo pedal, transposer, bass and melody couplers and four midi stops which incorporate a library of 33 voices. It was purchased in 1996 as part of the re-ordering of the building with a bequest from Ruth Bennett, a loyal member of the congregation.