Our Church Community
We are a 14th Century parish church in a rural setting: the village of Benenden, in the heart of The Weald in Kent. The village population is around 1800 people; the church Electoral Roll has 140 members.
Is to grow our church family numerically and spiritually, by seeking God’s will, and joining in with his mission in this place. We seek to share the love of Jesus Christ with everyone in the community.
Who we are looking for
A musician with a personal commitment to church worship, who is a Christian, and will take responsibility for the musical life at St. George’s. Someone who will maintain and develop our choir, work with the leaders of services and on the choice of hymns, including introducing us to new music, and play the organ or piano for some services.
Our choir and musical resources
St. George’s has a long choral tradition and has a very committed four-part choir which robes for the 10am service every week and sings a Choral Evensong once a month. The choir meets for a weekly practice between 6:45 and 8pm on Thursdays.
We are looking for a successor to Martyn Williams, who is retiring after nine years of directing the choir and playing the organ for the Evensongs and occasionally other services.
The church has a good 2 manual pipe organ which was rebuilt in 2012. Since then, we have had a programme of organ recitals linked to alternate Choral Evensongs, with visiting recitalists who accompany the service and we would hope to continue to build on this.
There is also a good quality upright piano. The church has an up-to-date sound system, and a good quality AV system which includes a screen which may be used in some worship. We have licences for reproducing music and for performance.
Our services and worship
Our 10.00 services at St George’s are currently an All-Age Communion on the first Sunday of the month (with a simple Common Worship musical setting), a Sung Eucharist on the third Sunday (with a setting by Stuart Beer), and Morning Worship on the second and fourth Sundays; fifth Sundays are benefice services alternating between Benenden and neighbouring Sandhurst. Our congregation usually averages between 30 and 60 for the main act of worship. Services at Christmas or Remembrance can be attended by 400 or more.
There is a said Communion service every Sunday at 8am.
Special services, of course, include: Advent, Christmas, Lent, Easter, Harvest, Remembrance Sunday and All Souls’ Day. There are also services involving the CoE Primary School, Benenden Girls’ School Confirmation and Speech Day services and services with the Kent Music Summer Schools.
We hold an average of 8-10 weddings each year, the majority of which include the request for an organist and 6-8 funerals a year also requiring an organist. We would expect the Director of Music to have first refusal on all requests for an organist, and arrange alternative cover when not available to play.
St. George’s Benenden is part of a benefice with St. Nicholas, Sandhurst. This is another medieval, rural parish church. The Rector seeks to strengthen the links between both church families, including musical links.
The Job involves
Rehearsing, developing and growing the four-part choir.
Working flexibly with the relevant people, under the Rector’s leadership, in planning the music and hymns for Sunday services and at other services, including major festivals.
Under the direction of the Rector and the PCC, and in collaboration with others responsible for music, to develop the musical expressions of worship at St. George’s. This includes traditional expressions of worship and music, and also introducing the choir and congregation to more contemporary material.
Working with the fledgling children’s singing group, in collaboration with the leaders, to nurture their gifts and grow the group numerically.
Playing the organ at weddings and funerals when possible.
Working with other church members and/or external musicians to organise occasional concerts or recitals through the year.
We seek an enthusiastic musician, committed to leading, enabling and developing the musical worshipping life of the church. Someone with a good level of musical skill on the organ. Someone good with working with people of all ages and all musical abilities. Someone who is a committed Christian, or who at the very least is supportive of the Christian ethos and is concerned with the tradition and future of worship in Church.
The position will be paid in line with RSCM rates to be agreed.
Please send a cv and covering letter, via email, to:
Revd David Commander
Benefice of Benenden and Sandhurst
Or telephone 01580 240658 if you would like to discuss the position in the first instance. To apply: please send the Rector a C.V. and covering letter, via email, by 25th November; we hope to appoint sometime in December.