Vacancies in the Osney Benefice

St Frideswide Oxford is seeking an Organist and Choir Director (paid position)

 St Frideswide’s is a small parish church with an active choir and established musical tradition. We are seeking an organist and choir director who will work with us to nurture this tradition and be part of our growing community. We are part of the wider Osney Benefice, and are supported by parish partnerships with St Mary Magdalen’s and St Aldate’s. Our regular Sunday service is a Sung Eucharist according to Common Worship (Order 1), with hymns from the NEH and mass setting (Kyrie, Sanctus and Agnus) largely from the same, with the exception of the Schubert Gloria.

The choir is informal, non-auditioning and welcomes anyone who arrives for the rehearsal to practise a simple anthem (often taken from the Oxford Book of Easy Anthems, or an appropriate hymn) to sing during the distribution of communion. There are regularly between 4 and 10 singers with others joining for major special occasions or festivals. The choir rehearsal takes place at 10am on Sunday mornings. As one might expect in a non-auditioning choir, there is a mixture of abilities and experience. Members are mainly drawn from the parish.

Job Description

  • Playing the organ at the 10.30am Sunday service at St. Frideswide and in addition for any services on Ascension Day, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Day, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day as required and on other occasions by negotiation. (In 2020-21 the organist played for Christmas Day and Easter Day out of that list).
  • Arranging a deputy for the occasions when you are not available to play and notifying the churchwardens and celebrant of the arrangement well in advance.
  • Arranging for the organ and piano to be tuned at appropriate intervals and notifying the Rector and churchwardens when this is to take place.
  • Where organ repairs are needed, liaising with the Rector and PCC prior to any work being commissioned.
  • Choosing a suitable anthem and rehearsing the choir prior to the Sunday morning service.
  • Ensuring newcomers to the choir are warmly welcomed and acting as an initial point of contact for new choir members.
  • Working with the Rector and other licensed clergy to provide music for special services that may include anthems, choir items and rehearsal/practice sessions.

Person specification

  • Competent organist (preferably to diploma level) and pianist, confident, well-versed and flexible in hymnody and sung liturgy.
  • Confident and friendly in approach to conducting and bringing the best out of a mixed ability choir.
  • Appreciative of the wider significance of the welcoming ethos of the St Frideswide choir to the mission and ministry of the church, and desirous of seeing the choir grow and flourish in its current form.
  • Able to work well as part of a wider team of clergy and lay leaders.
  • Administratively competent; able to respond promptly to email enquiries and arranging deputy when needed.
  • Able to devise and manage choir attendance sheets and keep the (modest) music library in good order.
  • In sympathy with the role of music and faith in the worship of an Anglican parish church.

For further information and to apply

For informal further enquiries, including renumeration, please email Paul Spencer-Longhurst, Churchwarden: spencerlonghurst@btinternet.com.  To apply, please send CV and cover letter to him at the same email address.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Paul Spencer-Longhurst & Jenny Shearan, Churchwardens.