St Denys' and St Mark's Joint Benefice

  • The Rectory
  • Mayfield Road
  • Rotherfield
  • East Sussex
  • TN6 3LU

01892 852536
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Choir and Music 

Music plays an important part in the life and worship of St Denys’ Church.  We enjoy a range of musical styles including traditional hymns, anthems, chanted canticles and psalms and modern worship songs.  The style varies 

from week to week according to the type of service.  The first and third Sunday mornings make use of more modern music when we use the “Songs of Fellowship” books as our main source.  The second, fourth and fifth Sundays are more traditional with a sung liturgy and hymns.  On these Sundays we use the “Common Praise” hymn book, the most recent edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern.


We have a small but enthusiastic choir who sing on most Sunday mornings, some evenings and for festivals such as Christmas and Easter.  We usually robe except on the first Sunday at the family service.  The choir meet fortnightly, on a Friday evening,  to prepare music for subsequent weeks.  They are always happy to welcome new members, including those who are able to add to our numbers on a seasonal basis perhaps at Christmas or other major festivals.  It is not essential to be able to read music (although this can help) but you do need to enjoy singing as we do rather a lot of that!


The hymns and songs are chosen in advance by the organist, in accordance with the themes of the lectionary readings for each Sunday, making use of the Royal School of Church Music’s “Sunday by Sunday” guidance materials.  There is a small book available at the back of the church, near the entrance, for hymn requests.  If you would like to request a particular hymn, especially if you wish to mark an occasion or event, please enter the details in this book and we will do our best to accommodate this.  The further in advance that you make the request the more easily it can be incorporated.


Music at St Denys’ is accompanied primarily on the organ.  We have a modern digital electronic organ built by Hugh Banton of “The Organ Workshop”.  It is a three manual instrument with pedals and fully functioning drawer stops.  The specification is typically English in character.  The instrument was custom built for us about eight years ago.  The console is largely finished in oak with plastic covered wooden keyboards and a range of accessories to make playing easier.  There are two sound systems, the main speakers are in the chancel, mounted on the screen which divides the chapel from the chancel with a secondary system in a smart wooden enclosure on the west wall, below the glass screen of the ringing chamber.  The base speakers are mounted on the roof of the toilet, next to the kitchen area at the back of the church.


We also make use of a piano and a small number of musicians play for family and informal services.  We are developing a larger music group or band, including a number of younger musicians, who will play on a number of special occasions through the year.  If you are interested in being part of this group or playing at other times please contact our Organist and Choirmaster.

We are delighted that several folk have joined the choir, but we are always looking for more to be involved.  We appreciate some cannot make a weekly commitment, but even if once a month and special events is all you can commit to, then please do come along.  If you would like to know more, please do speak to the organist.  You would be welcome to join for a trial period to see if it suits you