Richmond Hill St. Andrews Church
A welcome at the heart of Bournemouth
On 13th April our organist and choir master Danny Campbell was awarded the prestigious Licentiate of the Guild of Musicians and Singers. The award was for his 50 years service as a church musician, ten of which have been at our church. An award that is richly deserved and long may he continue with us.
Danny says that the ceremony took place at the church of All Hallows by the Tower, London which is a fascinating church to visit.
All Hallows is the oldest church in the City of London having been founded as far back as 675 AD. It has historic connections with famous names such as Samual Pepys, Archbishop Laud, Bishop John Fisher, William Penn to name but a few. Sadly it was badly bombed in 1940 but the Nave was rebuilt in the 1950's and it still retains the original aisles and tower with a new spire.
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Worship and Music have for so long gone hand in hand. So, it is hard at times to think of one without the other.
The United Reformed Church is part of the great Free Church Tradition. And the these Churches have had less structured worship than some denominations. As a result in their formative years in the 17th Century the Free Churches were more dependent on singing the Psalms, and a little later, hymns.
One of the greatest hymn writers of this early period was Isaac Watts, an Independent Minister in Southampton, whose hymns are still sung the world over.
Old favourites spring to mind such as:
In due course these popular hymns were taken up by our Christian friends in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches. Even today hymn writing is still very much alive, including the tunes which accompany them.
Not surprisingly the United Reformed Church has in turn absorbed music from other denominations too over the years, not least from its own mainly Congregational and Presbyterian inheritance.
We at Richmond Hill St.Andrew’s are indeed fortunate, enjoying as we do Sunday by Sunday music drawn from many traditions, and across the centuries. We feel this makes our worship richer, relevant and more vibrant than many of our forebears could have imagined. (If you click on this link, you can see this month's music.)
Prior to our founding on this site here in Bournemouth in 1856, the music for worship was supplied by an ad hoc assortment of viols, clarinets and flutes in the various venues in the town. However, not long after the first permanent church was opened, a secondhand organ was purchased to lead the singing.
After two further instruments, in 1906 the church employed T.C.Lewis & Co to install the present organ, in its original form. This in turn has been totally rebuilt by Willis in 1965, and just recently in 2006, Lance Foy of Truro carried out a major restoration and improvements.
Further information and stop lists are contained in “Organs at Richmond Hill” priced at £2.00.
The opening recital was so successful after the restoration in 2006 that we decided to hold an annual series of Organ Concerts. These are usually held during the months of July, August, September and October on Saturday afternoons at 3pm.
The concerts have the benefit of a videoscreen which enables the audience to see the performer at the console. For more information on next year's concerts check this website out nearer the summer months.