Father Simon Vivian
Great St Mary's Church
Director of Music and/or Organist
Part-time - Salary commensurate with experience and finalised role
Great St Mary’s Church, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire, CM21 9AB
~ Do you have a passion for encouraging musicians of different ages and abilities?
~ Are you an inspirational choir director?
~ Do you have a creative flair which sees opportunities to expand music’s outreach within a church and community?
If so, you may like to consider becoming our new Director of Music and/or Organist.
We are seeking to appoint a creative and inspirational Director of Music (who may also be an organist) to help us develop our church’s vision of ministry and mission through music.
Great St Mary’s is a beautiful and historically fascinating Grade 1 Listed building at the heart of the small town of Sawbridgeworth in Hertfordshire. Located on the main road between Harlow and Bishop’s Stortford - 5 miles from each - it is also has a railway station 10 minutes’ walk away which is on the mainline between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge.
Music is a vital part of the life of Great St Mary’s, and is appreciated and valued highly by both the clergy and congregation. The church’s worship is liberal catholic in tradition with incense used on feast days. Our main Sunday morning service (9.30am) is a Parish Eucharist (Common Worship), often featuring David Thorne’s ‘Mass of St Thomas’, led by our adult robed choir, accompanied by the organ and occasionally, if appropriate, by the piano. Once a month, usually on the first Sunday of the month, the choir also sings for Choral Evensong which always features a sung set of canticles and an anthem.
In addition to services on Ascension Day evening, Maundy Thursday evening, Good Friday afternoon, and Holy Saturday evening, the choir also sings for weddings when requested, for our civic service, Remembrance Day service, Advent and Christmas carol services, Midnight Mass, and also leads the singing at the town’s Christmas Eve outdoor carol-singing event ‘Carols on Fair Green’.
Our principal hymnbook is the blue ‘Common Praise’ (Canterbury Press) volume, though we also use Kevin Mayhew’s green ‘Hymns Old and New - New Anglican Edition’ to bring additional breadth.
The organ and its two-manual console were placed at the west end of the church in 1967 by the Thaxted firm of Arnold, Williamson & Hyatt using some of the pipework from the former Forster & Andrews organ which was situated in the chancel (https://www.npor.org.uk/survey/N14150). The sound is bright and more than capable of accompanying large congregations. The PCC is aware and supportive of the need for a renovation of the organ in due course. In addition, the church possesses a grand piano which is, admittedly, in poor condition, and a digital keyboard.
The clergy and PCC are keen to see the church’s choir and music tradition flourish. In addition to the renovation of the organ in due course, we would like to see the church choir grow and its work expand within our worship and beyond and, perhaps through liaisons with the local schools, a children’s/youth choir also to evolve. We recognise that the person taking on this project will have to devote hours beyond that of a regular organist role. Indeed, we are open to the possibility of employing one person as the Director of Music/Music Missioner and another person as the Organist/Accompanist.
Salaries will be based on an applicant’s past experience, the shape of the agreed role within the church, and guidance from the RSCM. Appointments will be made in accordance with the Church of England's 'Safer Recruitment' policy, and, as such, will involve a full DBS check.
If you are interested and would welcome an informal conversation about the role and its opportunities, please contact:
Father Simon Vivian (Vicar, Sawbridgeworth)