Music invites a response; emotional, spiritual and communal. Music in Worship invites that response and allows us to offer our music back to God in return, whether in congregational hymns, worship songs, 4-part harmony anthems or Taizé chants, to give a few examples. Diversity is our strength. We recognise that people's response to different kinds of music in worship can be very varied in a congregation which holds all age groups and all musical tastes, and it is precisely because our experiences of music are so individual that we hope to meet the varied needs of the congregation in worship.
Music at our 10:15 morning services at St John's can vary from a service with traditional organ hymns, played on our Conacher organ to a service with more contemporary music, played and sung by our unique music group.
We also have a small 'Sunday' choir and a larger four-part-harmony choir, the St John's Voices' who sing at special services and on special occasions. These groups not only add to our worship on a Sunday but often enjoy performing on other occasions, such as a concert, or soiree or maybe at an outside venue. Please see the individual sections for more information.
Contact details: Pam Dimbleby firstname.lastname@example.org
Our organ may be unique! It may be the only surviving Conacher organ from the early days of the cinema.
The invention of the motion picture camera in 1890 gave us the “Silent Era” of the movies.
Films remained silent until 1927 and during that time were often accompanied by a cinema organ.
Our organ began its days in 1920 when it was installed in the Central Cinema, Harrogate. The publicity at the time states that the Central Cinema had, “….full orchestral music with the accompaniment on the Grand Organ, installed at a cost of £3,300.” Quite a sum in those days! At that time it had a set of chimes and possibly also drums and other percussion. From 1923 to 1928, it was played by Stanley Johnson.
In 1949 the Central Cinema closed and during the mid 1950s the organ was moved to St John’s. In a service on 19th November 1955, it was “Dedicated to the glory of God by the Provost of Wakefield, The Very Rev. Noel T Hopkins. M. A.” The service was conducted by the Rev. R.A.C. Broddribb and the organist was Harold Rayner. Mr Rayner was Organist from 1928-1968.
A ‘plate’ in the organ loft tells us that in 1983 the organ was “cleaned and improved” by Mr. J. E. Shippin, Organ builder from Leeds, and “brought back into use” on 18th September of that year. The Vicar was the Rev. Michael Storey and the organist was Miss Jill V. Ramsden.
Details of the present specification are listed in the National Pipe Organ Register: Ref: RO1134 (when it was at Harrogate) and RO1135 (as it is now at St John’s.)