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Music at St John's

The choir

The St John's choir currently has 10 members, and welcomes new members to its ranks. They sing at the main Sunday morning service (apart from the second Sunday which is 'choir lite' and practise on Friday evenings from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. 

New members are always welcome. Please contact the choir leader, Rosemary McCormick, on 01373 451055 or email rosemarymccormick@hotmail.com

The organ

St John's has a fine organ, but it is much in need of some loving restoration, and we have been fundraising to this end over the past year. All three manuals (keyboards) are in need of repairs: so far the 'great' manual has been repaired and we have the funds to repair the 'swell' manual and are not too far off raising the funds for the 'choir' manual.

There is reference to an organ in the church as early as 1597 – “three small orgayne pipes”. It may be that this refers to quite a primitive instrument , possibly even a portable organ, but whatever form that instrument took it seems to have been reconstructed during the reign of Charles I, and by 1707 it is reported to have been erected “on a gallery under the chancel arch”.  We know that in 1761 it was moved to the west end and that in 1861, under the auspices of Vicar Bennett, the instrument was reconstructed by Vowles of Bristol and placed in its present position in St John’s Chapel.  It is likely that some of the original pipe work was preserved throughout the centuries.

More restoration work was carried out in 1923 and 1942 and now it is time to see how the instrument can be returned to full working order so that we can enjoy hearing it in services for many years to come.

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