Music forms an important and enjoyable part of our worship at St Mary’s Eastham.
We are very fortunate to have a fully functioning three manual pipe organ. Our regular church organist, Malcolm Perry is very accomplished.
St Mary’s Parish Church has a robed choir for most Sunday services. The choir leads the singing of hymns. They also sing some anthems and prayers in four part harmony. They are usually available to sing at weddings and funerals by arrangement.
The choir rehearses on Friday evenings. They would welcome new members, particularly those who sing bass and tenor.
St Mary’s Church Choir is led by Gail Davies. Gail has recently received a silver award from the Royal Society of Church Music.
For most of our Sunday services, we have hymns and songs from The Complete Anglican Hymnbook.
At St Peter’s Brookhurst, we have hymns and music from Mission Praise as part of our services.
At the Church Centre in Eastham Rake we have a variety of hymns and songs. Some worship songs have guitar accompaniment.
Advent and Christmas Music at St Mary’s
Advent carol service on Sunday 3rd December at 6pm in St Mary’s church.
This is a service to celebrate light, and the coming of the Christ child with music by Philip Stopford, Glorious light by Hannah/Getty (arr. Malcolm Perry) and Kendrick’s Like a candle flame. Rutter’s The Angels’ carol, will accompany our angels as they fly into church for the season of Advent and stay for Christmas. Gabriel’s message (a Basque carol) with music arranged by Malcolm, tells us of the visit to Mary, and the service concludes with the beautiful Christ’s Blessing by Paul Eddington-Wright. Readings and prayers for advent are interspersed with items sung by the choir and hymns and carols sung by all. Refreshments afterwards accompanied by the handbells complete an evening of wonder.
Christmas Festival service of Nine lessons and Carols on Sunday 17th December at 6pm in St Mary’s church.
The music for the service starts as always with a solo from our young chorister, Alex, who will be singing the first verse of Once in Royal David’s City. The music then continues with Gaudete (arr Mike Williams), a piece written in the 16thCentury – its title means Rejoice. We celebrate this, the third Sunday of Advent, known as Gaudete Sunday, in which the season of Advent shifts from ‘The Lord is coming’ to ‘The Lord is near’ and is marked by a heightened sense of joyous anticipation.
The readings tell the story of the life of Christ from the very beginning, in the Garden of Eden through to his birth, and the music celebrates this wondrous story. We have a few new pieces this year, including ‘He is the Gift’ by a new, young American composer Shawna Edwards ‘…that wise men still seek. A Saviour born, that we might live, he is the gift’.
We will be singing a variety of music composed or arranged by our own Malcolm Perry, including Ding, Dong Merrily on High, O Holy Night (Adam) and Shepherds Cradle Song, which is a new carol he composed last year and dedicated to Rev Beth Glover. We are also including your favourites such as ‘Mary Did you Know?’ (Lowry/Greene) and ‘In the Bleak Mid-winter’ by Darke. The choir finish with ‘A Christmas Blessing’ By Philip Stopford. The words are an adaptation of the traditional Christmas Blessing found in the book of Common Prayer written for Belfast Cathedral choir in December 2008.
Together we will sing Christmas carols such as O little Town, Joy to the World, O Come all ye Faithful and Silent Night which complete the music for the service. We may be treated to some special sounds from a live trumpet, and hand bells will ring out at the end. There will no doubt be wine and mince pies to finish with. So please tell your friends and come to this wonderful celebration of words and music as we await the birth of Jesus.