Music plays a central role in the spiritual life of St John the Baptist Church. As part of this there is a small but enthusiastic SATB Choir that leads the Congregational singing each week on a Sunday Morning and also twice a month at Evensong.
At the present time we use the Common Praise Hymn Book published by Canterbury Press. This hymn book is an update of Hymns Ancient & Modern and allows a wide range of hymns to be chosen that hopefully covers everyone’s taste. The Congregation can often be heard singing a Charles Wesley hymn from the 18th Century alongside Shine Jesus Shine from the late 20th Century in the same service.
As with the hymns the repertoire of the Choir ranges from Byrd and Palestrina to John Rutter and Margaret Rizza. We use 2 Congregational Mass Settings throughout the year. Martin How’s Addington Service is used during Advent and Lent and The Mass of St Thomas by David Thorne is used on the other Sundays of the year. At the Sunday Eucharist the Choir leads a Responsorial Psalm and also sings an Anthem during the distribution of Communion.
Evensong is also sung twice a month on the 1st & 3rd Sunday at 5 pm. This short, meditative service is an excellent way to round off your weekend before the working week starts again in earnest. At this service there are 3 hymns, a Psalm sung to Anglican Chants, a setting of the Magnificat & Nunc Dimitis and also an Anthem.
In addition to the normal Sunday Services the Choir also sings at Eucharist’s held on Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Holy Saturday and Ascension Day.
Over the years St John the Baptist Church has become known for its ‘extra services’ that are held each year. These include Carol Services at Advent and Epiphany and a Service of Words and Music on Palm Sunday evening. The Carol Services contain a wide range of Congregational Carols as well as suitable readings and Choir Carols. The service on Palm Sunday evening is much like a Carol Service, readings, hymns and anthems sung by the Choir, but with an emphasis on the Passion of our Lord.
If you are interested in singing with the Choir please do not hesitate to get in touch. We look for enthusiasm more than anything else so don’t worry if you think that you are not a great singer. Full training is given and even if you can only sing with us occasionally you will still be very welcome. A weekly rehearsal takes place on a Thursday at 7.30pm.
Scottish Registered Charity, No. SC001147