Public worship is not a form of entertainment. Our praise and prayer we offer God – ward; and it is for Him that we sing our hymns and make melodious noise on a Sunday morning. Clearly, we would not want to leave Church manically depressed by the experience on a Sunday morning! We would hope to be sustained, uplifted, encouraged and inspired in some small measure when we leave the building.
We at St Anne’s have, for a very long time, enjoyed the extraordinary commitment of our Choir Master and Director of Church music, Ken Bayliss; rarely have I come across a parish church organist who is so informed about liturgy and the relationship between what we sing, prayer and the devotional life. His absence from the organ bench, as he awaits operations on his hands, has caused us to look at how we will bat on without him playing Sunday by Sunday. I hasten to add that Ken continues to be absolutely central to our music here and is coordinating cover, sorting hymns, preparing for a full Advent programme and advising me. It is also my prayerful hope that he will assume his posterial position at the organ when his fingers have been sorted out. This situation has, however, caused us to look squarely in the face the fact that we must prepare for the future and look for means by which we can maintain the choral and very strong tradition of sacred music in this Church.
I have, you may be pleased to know, not been slow at cracking on and exploring how we might move forward. I am delighted to say that the very well known and experienced organist Andrew Dean, has said that he is prepared to to develop a scheme of training and tutoring organists through St Anne’s. His details are in this magazine and on our website; do look them up.I am also in touch with a number of other extremely gifted musicians regarding the training of young voices for choral and other styles; this is good news. I hope to take this into the local schools and Churches as well as within St Anne’s.
But we need to know who might like to be part of what we are proposing. There is a huge amount of youthful musical talent in this Church and in our community – what I am trying to do is to harness it.
We aim to maintain the choral tradition of this Church under my incumbency but I need your help to make that possible.
All Best The Vicar