Music plays an important part of the worship in the majority of services at Westbourne. If you are new to church, these hymns or songs are easy to pick up and it can be a way of feeling part of the service and church life.

We would like to hear from you if you are interested in taking part, leading or developing your musical skills. This could range from traditional Anglican music or contemporary worship music. There are spaces to join the traditional choir and there are plans to set up an informal group and a band.

In late 2015 / early 2016, the parish conducted a survey to gather feedback from parishioners on how music is used in worship and how it could be developed in the future. The PCC is taking forward work on this area. Thank you to the PCC and everyone who was involved in carrying out and exploring the feedback, providing comments, and to those who attended the presentations.

Singing at Westbourne

St John the Baptist Church, Westbourne has a strong choral tradition and has plans for developing other singing and music groups. The regular choir meet usually on a Thursday evening at the church and before special services. The choir is affiliated to the Royal School of Church Music (RSCM).

Singers who would like to join the choir for the quarterly evening choral service at St John the Baptist Church, Westbourne are warmly invited to attend the three rehearsals prior to these services. 

> The Choirs at Westbourne

If you are interested in finding out more about the choirs at Westbourne, contact the Director of Music, Mr Stewart Taylor.


church organ showing the two manuals and part of the pipesThe organ at St John the Baptist Church, Westbourne

The church has a two-manual Kenneth Tickell pipe organ which was installed in 2002.

More about the organ at Westbourne.

The organ has featured in major concerts and recitals. The organist team is also supported by the Organ Champion Liz Alder, who co-ordinated the book 'Pipe Organs of West Sussex' for the West Sussex Organists' Association, and has previously led the choir at Westbourne Church.

> 'Pipe Organs of West Sussex' Millennium Project


Westbourne's Director of Music and organists

Stewart Taylor started to learn the organ aged twelve and took up his first Organist and Choirmaster post in Goring-by-Sea at the age of fourteen. Since then he has held a succession of parish Director of Music posts in London, Shipton-under-Wychwood in Oxfordshire and Holy Trinity in Hereford. He moved with his wife Mary to Gosport in 2017 to be closer to their children and grandchildren and was appointed Director of Music at Westbourne in August 2017.

His musical experience includes piano accompaniment for singers and chamber music. He has directed several successful choirs. Stewart was accompanist to the BBC staff choir in London for ten years, Music Director of Chipping Norton Choral Society for seven years and his other experience includes work as an Old Tyme Music Hall pianist and a pianist in a traditional jazz band. As an organist he has given two recitals in Hereford Cathedral and enjoys accompanying his two previous choirs on regular cathedral visiting choir weekends.

A chartered electronic engineer by profession, in retirement he took up an arts administration role and was Operations Director of the 300th Three Choirs Festival in Hereford in 2015.

The parish is fortunate to have a number of experienced organists and choir deputies who work with the Rector and the Director of Music to provide music in services at both St John the Baptist Westbourne and Woodmancote Church. We thank them all for their contribution and support for music in ministry in the parish.


Music at Woodmancote

There are usually two Sunday services each month at Woodmancote Church and hymns are accompanied on the keyboard by a member of our organist team.


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