About the church
St. Columba’s is Oxford’s central United Reformed Church. We meet for public worship on Sundays at 10.45am. Our congregation spans a wide range of ages, and we have a particular focus on inclusion – we were awarded the URC’s Multicultural church award in recognition of our welcome for LGBT* people, and have recently agreed to appoint a development and outreach worker with trans and gender non-conforming people. You can find out more about us at our website saintcolumbas.org
We recently replaced our aging pipe organ with a Viscount Envy 35 F (see https://viscountorgans.net/products/envoy-35-f/). The previous organ remains in place, but is no longer playable. We also have pianos in both the church and the hall.
About the role
Your responsibilities would be:
· Accompanying morning worship on the organ and piano for a minimum of 40 services per year. Our services typically have five hymns/songs taken from Rejoice and Sing or Common Ground. You would also be asked to play voluntaries before and after worship, and may be asked to play a meditative piece of music after the sermon.
· Organising a rota of deputies to cover services when you are not playing. We can supply contact details of those who currently play for us on occasion. There is a service at St. Columba’s every Sunday and on Christmas Day unless we are worshipping jointly at another church. In Holy Week we collaborate with New Road Baptist Church and Wesley Memorial Methodist Church, and one of the three churches will host a joint Maundy Thursday service, and another a joint Good Friday service, meaning there is a Holy Week service at St. Columba’s two years in three.
· Accompanying additional services such as weddings, blessings, funerals and thanksgiving services, or finding a suitable deputy. An additional fee would be payable for these services.
· Working with the Minister, Rev. Helen Garton, and other worship leaders to explore new music consistent with our theology and suitable for congregational use.
· Leading an occasional voluntary choir of 5-10 members in contributing to worship – identifying suitable straightforward pieces in conjunction with the worship leader, and rehearsing the choir before morning worship. In particular, to plan the annual carol service with the Minister and consider choir-led pieces as part of that service.
· Encouraging wider musical participation in worship. We have a number of instrumentalists within the congregation and would like to use their gifts in worship.
· Working with the facilities manager, Jill Bentley, to oversee the maintenance of the organ and pianos, and promote the use of St. Columba’s for musical events.
The fee for this role will be £2,500 per annum for a minimum of 40 services, with additional fees for services above this minimum.
You will be a confident organist/pianist who enjoys working with amateur music-makers and has experience accompanying congregational singing. You will be sympathetic to the values of St. Columba’s URC. You will be well-organised and be confident collaborating with worship leaders.
How to apply
Email firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm 5 June with a statement of maximum 500 words setting out:
· your musical experience; and
· how you would encourage the musical life of the congregation.
Shortlisted candidates will be invited to a short audition where they will have the opportunity to try our new electronic organ, followed by an interview.
Appointment will be subject to two satisfactory references and relevant checks.