Music in Anglican Worship

Our Organs

The organ is the principle instrument, and there is a variety or organs to be found in our various church buildings. Most are modest pipe organs, with single keyboard and pedals instruments in Bellingham, Thorneyburn and Elsdon, and 2 manuals and pedals organs in West Woodburn, Otterburn and Horsley (still undergoing reconstruction). There is a 2 manual digital electronic organ in Falstone and a Roland keyboard in Byrness.

The services in the North Tyne and Redesdale valleys are mostly Eucharists, with hymns. In the North Tyne valley, hymns are mainly selected from “Hymns Ancient and Modern New Standard”, while churches in the Rede valley also use “Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New”. Other new hymns and music from the Iona and Taizé communities have also been introduced.

Our Music

In Bellingham, the Parish Communion services are usually sung on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays (Common Worship and BCP respectively), and the Parish Communion services at Falstone and Thorneyburn are sometimes sung.

Evensong on the 1st Sunday in Bellingham is normally a sung service. Evensong services on the 2nd Sunday in Otterburn and Thorneyburn are sometimes sung services.

John Roper at the organ

There are no resident choirs in the Team but a small group has been formed in Bellingham to help lead the sung services in particular.
Over the years, choirs have sung in our churches for special services and concerts, including the Hexham-based chamber choir Antiphon, the North Tyne and Redewater Choral Society (both conducted by John Roper), the Hexham Abbey Girls’ Choir and the Newcastle Cathedral Girls' Choir.

At All Saints, in Corsenside Parish, music is often provided by instrumentalists, with organ music on the 3rd Sunday and some other Sundays.

John Roper was formally appointed Director of Music at St Cuthbert’s, Bellingham, in October 2007, since when the organ in the church has been relocated from its hideaway in the South Transept to the West End of the church. As we have seen, the Communion Services are now sung here on the 2nd and 3rd Sundays, with Evensong on the 1st Sunday, with invites being extended to other choirs to sing a few times a year.