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									                                BEVERLEY MINSTER

                           Director of Music
                                     PARISH PROFILE

                                  Beverley Minster aims to be:
                             A place of worship – Rejoicing in Christ
                             A community of love – Reflecting Christ
                              A light to the world – Revealing Christ


Beverley Minster (in the Diocese of York and the Archdeaconry of the East Riding) is both parish
church to a large parish of some 18,000 people, and a focus of church and community life in the
East Riding of Yorkshire. Its building, largely constructed between 1220 and 1400, is thought by
many to be the finest mediaeval church in northern Europe, and attracts some 70,000 visitors
each year. The parish also includes three daughter churches: St Leonard’s, Molescroft, St Paul’s
Tickton (an Anglican Methodist LEP), and St Peter’s, Woodmansey, and there is also a ‘Fresh
Expressions’ initiative, ‘Minster Way Network’. The Incumbent is also Priest-in-Charge of Routh.
The architectural prominence of the building, the large parish population, the daughter churches,
and its open evangelical tradition make it almost unique in the Church of England.

The Minster is full of music. It has a choral tradition going back to the monks of the Middle Ages,
the world’s largest collection of medieval musician carvings, a superb modern organ which
successfully incorporates the original 200 year old instrument by Snetzler, and currently a
flourishing diversity of contemporary music under the direction of Dr Alan Spedding MBE who was
appointed in 1967.

Founded by St John of Beverley in the 8th century, Beverley was, in the Middle Ages, the eleventh
largest town in England. Today it is a charming and flourishing market town of about 34,000
people. The main employer in the town is probably the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and there
is a variety of light and service industries, general commerce, and, on the outskirts and in the
surrounding villages, agriculture. At the 2001 census unemployment in the parish was 1.63%; the
community is socially mixed, with the Minster parish largely middle class and upwards. There are
good local shops (including branches of Marks & Spencer Simply Food, Boots, W H Smith,
Woolworth’s and other high street names) and supermarkets (Tesco, Morrisons) and a rich
cultural programme including the annual Early Music and Folk Festivals. There is an excellent
range of restaurants and coffee shops. There is a railway station, and local train and bus services

are adequate. The M62 is about 20 minutes away. Beverley’s schools have an excellent
Nearby is the attractive and unspoiled countryside of the Yorkshire Wolds, and the cities of
Kingston-upon-Hull and York, which offer all the amenities of large centres of population.

Beverley Minster is a large and flourishing parish church with added responsibilities and
opportunities that result from its exceptional building and regional prominence.

There are nearly 450 names on the Electoral Roll (including daughter church members) and
attendances at the main morning service range from 180 to 250. The ‘Usual Sunday Attendance’
for all services at the Minster in 2007 was 258 adults and 32 under-16s. There are 12 House
Groups associated with the Minster, and Alpha Courses are held twice a year. Lay people are
active throughout church life, in pastoral care and evangelism through, for example, Baptism
Preparation and services in Care Homes, and as volunteer helpers in, for example, the Minster
Shop and weekday Welcome Team. The Mission Action Group co-ordinates involvement in local
and global mission, and we have a number of strong overseas mission links. In 2007 at the
Minster, 43 children were baptized, there were 24 Marriages and Services of Prayer and
Dedication) and 22 Church Funerals.

The Minster’s Staff Team consists of: Vicar (vacant from 3/11/2008 – see below), Associate Vicar,
Assistant Curates (one full-time, one NSM, with a second NSM expected to join in 2009), Director
of Music (p/t), Youth Minister, Parish Secretary, Reception Coordinator (p/t), Secretarial Assistant
(p/t), Head Virger, Deputy Virger, Relief Virger (p/t), Parish Accountant (p/t), Concert Secretary
(p/t), Deputy Organist (p/t) and Shop Manager (employed by Beverley Minster Shop Ltd). The
weekly Staff Meeting brings together the leading members of the team for planning and sharing

There is a strong emphasis on children’s and youth work, led by the full-time Youth Minister. The
‘Youth Café’, held every six weeks or so in the Minster, is extremely popular among 11-18 year-
olds in the town. We also support the Beverley Schools Christian Trust, which employs a full-time
secondary schools worker.

As a focus of Christian faith in a wider area than its own parish, the Minster hosts many special
services and other events for the Diocese and community. So, for example, around 1000 people
attend the Remembrance Sunday service and the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols at Christmas
and several hundred attend the Advent Procession on Advent Sunday; the County Legal Service is
frequently held here, as are town and county Civic Services. The Annual St John of Beverley Service
commemorating the life of the founder of the Minster and the town is attended by Civic Leaders,
and every year in June the Minster welcomes around 1000 schoolchildren over 3 days for
REAction, a large-scale local schools event. There are regular exhibitions as well as concerts.

The Minster is committed to worshipping God in a variety of styles, both traditional and
contemporary. As in other areas of church life we seek to include both ‘inherited’ and ‘emerging’

styles, aiming for the very best we can offer. This includes aspiring to the highest achievable
standard of performance which, however, should not be regarded as an end in itself.

The current service pattern is as follows (services in which the Choir participate are marked *;
services in which the Music Group participate are marked #), although there are frequent
variations for special occasions:

               8.00    Holy Communion (BCP, said)

               10.30 All-Age Service # – week 1
               10.30 Parish Communion (CW Order 1)* – weeks 2 to 5

               15.00 Baptisms (with organ hymns) – week 4

               18.30   Choral Communion (BCP)* – week 1
               18.30   Choral Evensong (BCP)* – weeks 2,4,5 (term-time)
               18.30   Evensong - weeks 2,4,5 (school holidays)
               18.30   ‘Living Water’# – week 3 (Creative, contemporary)

The All-Age Service is often the best attended in the month, uses creative visual, interactive and
other means of communicating and expressing worship, and seeks to include children and young
people along with adults.

Parish Communion is more closely structured and formal, without being ‘stuffy’. It is sung to a
congregational setting by Alan Spedding, our present Director of Music. Younger children attend
‘Sunday Club’ during the first part. Prayer Ministry with individuals is offered, discreetly, at most
morning services, and there is a ‘Family Worship Area’ for parents with pre-school children at the
front of the nave at all morning services.

Choral Communion and Evensong are ‘cathedral-style’, with the choir singing canticles and
anthem at Evensong. ‘Living Water’ is creative and contemporary, mainly aimed at adults.
Preaching is biblically-based and purposeful, but not stereotyped.

Wednesday      19.30 Holy Communion with Ministry of Prayer for Healing
                     (suspended during the vacancy)
Thursday       10.00 Said Holy Communion (CW/BCP alternately)
               19.30 Choral Evensong* (term-time; no sermon)

Morning and Evening Prayer are said daily at 8.30 and 1700 respectively (except Monday morning,
Saturday evening and Thursday evening in term-time).

Major Annual Occasions (at present)
Advent Sunday               18.30            Advent Procession*
Christmas Eve               14.30/15.30      Crib Services
                            18.30            Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols
                            23.30            Midnight Communion*
Christmas Day               10.30            All-Age Communion*#

New Year’s Eve                 23.00        New Year Service
First Sunday after Epiphany    18.30        Epiphany Procession*
Ash Wednesday                  19.30        Choral Communion*
Mothering Sunday               10.30        All-Age Communion*#
Palm Sunday                    18.30        Service of Music and Readings for Holy Week*
Maundy Thursday                19.30        Holy Communion with foot-washing* (alternate years)
Good Friday                    09.30        Matins, Litany and Sermon*
                               16.00        All-Age Service#
Easter Day                     10.30        All-Age Communion
                               16.00        Choral Evensong
Ascension Day                  19.30        Holy Communion*
St John of Beverley Festival   Thu 19.00    Choral Evensong at Harpham* (birthplace of St John)
(early May)                    Sun 18.30    St John of Beverley Festival Service*
Pentecost                      10.30        All-Age Communion*#
Remembrance Sunday             10.50        Remembrance service*


When the present Minster was built in the 13th century, the chancel, which accommodated the
choir, was constructed first in order that services could be conducted with music.

Daily services continued to be sung until the Reformation. In 1531, records show that a John
Merbecke was listed as receiving payment ‘in reward for songs by him given to the church’. He
later moved to St George’s Chapel, Windsor, to become a ‘singing man’ and one of two organists.
He collaborated with Archbishop Cranmer to publish his ‘Book of Common Prayer Noted’. This
setting is still used once a month at a BCP Communion service.

After the Dissolution in 1548 the Minster was re-established as a Parish Church. Records cease to
exist about music at the Minster until the mid-18 th century when the restoration of the building
coincided with a musical renaissance. It was at this time that the building of the organ by Snetzler
was commissioned in 1767. Two years later it was opened with a festival of the music of Handel. It
wasn’t until 1809 that there is a record of a choir at the Minster and by 1830 there was a small
surpliced choir.

And so through good times and bad the musical traditions of the Minster grew under the direction
of Arthur Henry Mann, John Camidge (who retired at the age of 80), H K Andrews, John Long,
David Ingate and Peter Fletcher.


A service list is published each month on the website and shows details of the music played and
sung. ‘Hymns Old and New’ (New Anglican Edition) is the standard hymn book, used at almost all
the services. Service sheets are produced for All-Age services, when contemporary worship songs
will be included, and special occasions. At present, the Vicar chooses the hymns for Sunday
services, to fit with teaching themes, and the Director of Music plans the remainder of the music.

The boys, women and men of the choir sing on Sundays and on Thursday night as shown above.
Although the Minster is a Parish Church and has no choir school, the aim is to maintain a standard
of choral singing at least the equal of a cathedral choir. CDs are available from the Minster Shop.

The choir members are dedicated to giving of their best in worship and to achieve this they
rehearse (in their own Song Room in the Parish Hall) before Sunday services and before and after
Choral Evensong on Thursdays in school term times. There is a rehearsal for boys on Tuesdays
from 5.00 pm to 6.15 pm. The Minster Choir, despite its amateur status, often reaches the
performing standard of many a cathedral choir and has broadcast on several occasions.
Membership of the choir currently stands at 14 trebles, 4 sopranos, 3 altos, 5 tenors and 5 basses.

The choir take a holiday during August when visiting choirs are invited to sing at the services.

Music Group
At All-Age and ‘Living Water’ services the Music Group provide the music. Led by a combination of
voices and instruments, the worship songs provide a contrasting musical and worship style. The
state-of-the-art Minster sound system with mixing desk ensures that everyone can be heard
throughout the building.

Occasionally, for specific festivals, the music group joins the choir and organist for All-Age Holy
Communion services. The music group practices and prays together one weekday evening and
before each service.

The Music Group has its own leader, but the involvement of the Director of Music would be
welcomed in order to establish a close relationship between the traditional and contemporary
musical styles within an overall vision for a ‘mixed economy’ in worship.

The Minster Organ
The first organ was built by Snetzler in 1767 and many of the original pipes are incorporated
within the present instrument which has undergone many changes. At its opening in 1769 the
modern music of Handel was performed. The most recent refurbishment by Wood of Huddersfield
took place in the 1990s and was dedicated in 1995. The rebuild included the additional facilities of
eight registrational divisions and a 128-channel sequencer. There are nearly 4000 pipes, four
manuals and pedal board. There are 72 stops providing combinations of sound that suit a large
repertoire of music from different styles and countries.

Notable organists have been Matthias Hawdon - the first organist to be appointed, Arthur Henry
Mann - later appointed to King’s College, Cambridge, John Camidge (for 57 years), and H K
Andrews - an eminent scholar and later Fellow and Organist of New College, Oxford.

The organ specification is available on the website.

A Steinway Grand piano has recently been bought by the Friends of Beverley Minster.

A series of concerts by nationally recognised soloists, orchestras and local choirs is organised each
year together with a well supported organ recital series from Easter Monday to August Bank
Holiday each year.

The present Director of Music has a group of people who support his work:
  The Assistant Director (Mervyn King) regularly conducts the choir and takes responsibility
   during the absence of the Director.
  An Assistant Choirmaster (Ian Wood) currently shares responsibility for rehearsing the trebles
   and also organises recruiting and social events.
  The Assistant Organist (Colin Wright) accompanies the Sunday morning Holy Communion
   which regularly attracts congregations numbering 200+, together with other services on an ad
   hoc basis.
  The PCC has engaged a Concert and Exhibition organiser (Carol Parkinson), who also is the
   Secretary of the Organ Recital Trust, which is an independent charity.
  An arrangement with Hull University has provided a jointly funded Organ Scholarship.


The Director of Music is responsible for the musical life of Beverley Minster and will be expected
to take a strategic role in all the aspects ensuring that a high quality is maintained.

The appointment of the Director of Music comes at a time of change. In November 2008 the
present Vicar, Canon David Bailey, leaves the Minster after 11 years to take up a post as
Archdeacon of Bolton, leaving the Churchwardens, Associate Vicar, Assistant Curates and Readers
with responsibility for the Minster and associated churches during the vacancy. The Associate
Vicar and Stipendiary Curate are themselves likely to move on in 2009.

When Alan Spedding’s retirement was confirmed, a PCC decision was made (and supported by the
Bishop of Hull) to proceed immediately towards the appointment of a Director of Music, rather
than await the appointment of the next Vicar. This was felt to be in the best interests of the
Minster’s music. The outgoing Vicar will not be involved in the decision-making stages of the
process, which will be in the hands of a team from the Minster with the assistance of an outside

The current pattern of worship described above has evolved over many years. It reflects the needs
and aspirations of the clergy and people alike. But change can be expected to bring fresh vision,
and there will be exciting opportunities for the next Director of Music to work with newly
appointed clergy to develop the Minster’s music to new levels and in new directions.

Thank-you for your interest in this post, which is possibly one of the most exciting
and rewarding parochial Director of Music posts in the Church of England. We
welcome applications from suitably qualified candidates.

                                                                                    October 2008


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