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Music at All Saints, Waltham

At All Saints, we are building a tradition of music that seeks both beauty and joy. We are equally committed to developing excellent choral music and strong congregational singing. Music is at the heart of our vision for building a healthy community that embodies the generous love of God.

Organ music is a core part of our worship. We are looking for an organist and choir leader who will enjoy the drama of liturgy and help shape t­­­he emotional landscape of worship. The congregation likes to pray by listening, as well as by singing and finding their voice.

The choir is in a time of transition as we work to rebuild a four-part choir. We are looking for an organist and choir leader who will enjoy trying to build something new – drawing on the best of the choral tradition; seeking the best in traditional and contemporary hymnody and liturgical music; and most importantly, working with others to build healthy, joy filled communities through music and worship.

We see the choir as a significant gift to the community. Many of our choir members have gone on to study music at university, have pursued music professionally, and have sung in nationally acclaimed choirs. We want to continue this tradition, so that the choir helps build aspiration and confidence for all who take part.

All Saints has a longstanding commitment to choral music rooted in the English tradition and encompassing a wider repertoire from the worldwide church. We draw on the insights and practice of Music that Makes Community, and John Bell’s work on enabling all people to find their voice. We value both traditional and contemporary hymnody; we seek to ground our singing in good theology and contemporary images of God.

What we are trying to do here is not typical. We are not trying to be a cathedral choir, but we are seeking the same beauty and wonder one finds in the best of cathedral worship. We are not trying to build a praise band, but we are passionate about the role of music in engaging our emotions in worship so that God can transform us. We want to form a living tradition that draws on the best of the music that we have inherited, and identifies new music worth handing on to others. As liturgists, musicians and worshippers, we are always seeking ways to increase wonder and joy.

Role descriptor

Job Description:                 Organist and Choir Leader

Responsible to:                   The Rector

Working relationships:
Choir members and key musicians in the congregation; (including a good organist who prefers not to play weekly, but is a valued member of the team), the Rector, Wardens and PCC. The Curates (one of whom is acting choir leader), NSM clergy and other members of the ministry team. There may also be opportunities to engage with children, parents and teachers at East Ravendale Church of England Primary School, and at other schools in Waltham and New Waltham.

Remuneration:
According to RSCM rates, plus occasional office fees
(typically 17+ weddings at £150 and 25+ funerals at £75)

Usual hours:
Thursday Choir Rehearsal 6.30 – 8.30 (open to review)
Sunday morning Eucharist 9.30 – 11.15 (10 am Eucharist)
Evensong 6 – 7.30 (Currently at 6.30 pm. Open to review)
plus additional time for private rehearsal, occasional offices if possible, and special services (e.g. Carol Services, Holy Week).

Safeguarding:
This post is subject to DBS checking under our Safeguarding Policy.

Purpose of the role:
To support the worship of the church and to work with others in building healthy, joyous communities, by offering the best music we can, and enabling people to grow as singers, musicians, and followers of Christ.

Main Duties                     

  • To play the organ on Sundays at the Sung Eucharist and Evensong.
  • To encourage, support and enable the choir at the weekly choir practice.
  • To support the worship of the church at festivals and through the liturgical year.
    (Advent Carols, Nine Lessons & Carols, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day, and at up to six other services by arrangement.)
  • To work with the Rector, Ministry Team and PCC in supporting the vision of the church and wellbeing of the community.
  • To work with the Rector and Curates to plan music for worship and choose hymns.
  • To develop and hand on a living tradition of church music to new musicians and worshippers.

Additional Possibilities

  • To work in or with local schools to develop choral music.
  • To create community singing groups – either for young children, or with the elderly, or learning disabled (grant funding may be available).

Person Specifications

Essential:

  • An ability to play the organ and piano competently in order to enhance worship.
  • A willingness to work with others to offer the best music and worship we can.
  • The capacity to help encourage others and a willingness to take risks.
  • The ability to rehearse with the choir and help develop their skills.
  • A willingness to share in the leadership of the church: helping others grow in faith and in longing for God, through music and through good relationships. Please note that there is a genuine occupational requirement of Christian Faith in terms of the Equalities Act, 2010.

Desirable:

  • A desire to work with children and young people in schools
  • An interest in community music groups that aim to increase mental health and wellbeing
  • Good skills of improvisation in worship, especially at the offertory and at communion.
  • Ability to support choir members in getting their RSCM medals through Voice for Life.
  • A willingness to help children learn about and take part in appropriate choral courses in the holidays. (e.g. RSCM workshops, Eton Choral Course, etc.)
  • A desire to seek out the best of modern hymnody and liturgical music, and a willingness to try things that might not work as part of the learning.
  • Interest in some of the theory of community development through music, in relation to improvisation and risk taking – learning from Music that Makes Community, John Bell, and others.

For more information, and to apply, please contact:

The Revd Kimberly Bohan (Rector)
95 High Street
Waltham
Lincolnshire, DN37 0PN
kimberly@walthamgroupchurches.co.uk

For initial enquiries, you can also contact our Curate and acting Choir Lead:

The Revd Laurence Price
laurence@walthamgroupchurches.co.uk

Telephone numbers are available in the downloadable files at the top of the page.

We are seeking to appoint as soon as possible, and welcome initial enquiries before 20 April, 2018.

The Church

All Saints is the largest of six churches in the Waltham Group. In recent years, the congregation has been growing in its hospitality and openness to others. Children are welcomed in worship, and admitted to communion so that they can take part fully. The liturgy seeks to be both reverent and relaxed. At times, we have all the ritual and drama of ‘big liturgies’ (e.g. at Christmas Midnight, the Easter Vigil, and the All Souls Requiem). At other times, we welcome the community into worship that is informal and spontaneous (e.g. the Christingle services, the crowning of the May Queen). But usually, we hold different styles together: letting children in the choir colour and craft during the sermon, even as they prepare to sing traditional anthems and chant psalms.

We have a wide network of relationships through occasional offices, and through our work in schools. The congregation want to be doing more in the community than we are — and some of the vision that the congregation has will only become possible as we grow. We are, however, becoming much more open to the diversity of the world around us. Our work with Women’s Aid has been helping us to re-examine our theology and see how Christianity can be good news for those who have suffered from abusive power dynamics and locked gender roles.

We are in the early stages of a reordering plan to help improve our worship space. Although the church is much loved in the community, it has challenging sight lines, a variable acoustic, and little room for flexibility of movement, wheelchairs, or prams. There is an exciting vision underpinning the reordering, and the new organist will have a role in shaping this vision and helping us make good choices for music and worship.

The Organ

The organ is a 2-manual organ, originally built by Brindley & Foster for a Congregational Church in Mansfield in the 1890s. The organ was moved to Waltham and installed in 1977, and was rebuilt in 2012 by Henry Groves.

The organ has 2 manuals, 22 speaking stops (Great 8, Swell 9, Pedal 5), balanced swell pedal, octave and sub-octave couplers, swell unison off, tremulant, departmental & general thumb pistons, toe pistons, 100 channels for settings, and a programmable recording system.

The Choir

The choir is in a period of transition right now. In the mornings, we are most often led by a cantor and small children’s choir. In the evenings, we have a quartet and the children’s choir. The choir expands at festivals, as members of the congregation and friends from the wider community join in. We are committed to rebuilding a four-part choir and are grateful for the ‘fearless and fabulous’ musicians who are supporting music through this transition.

All Saints has a good music library, built over many years, which we want to keep developing. Last year, the choir celebrated its 50th anniversary with the RSCM.