Music at St. Cuthbert's

Only four people have held the post of 'organist and choirmaster' at St. Cuthbert's since the end of the 19th century. They are as follows:

1896-1944 Samuel Broughton Mus. Bac. (Oxon.), F.R.C.O.
1944-1955 James Porter
1955-1977 James Murray F.R.C.O., L.R.A.M., A.T.C.L.
1979- Peter Jebson G.N.S.M.

A traditional Anglican choral tradition has been in place at St. Cuthbert's for well over 100 years. Indeed, attached to the wall next to the Copeman Hart console is a plaque which bears the following inscription: 'To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of Richard Cookson. A member of this choir for 70 years, 1847-1917.' The present church was built in 1834, so one might assume that a choir was formed round about that time. There is also archive evidence which suggests that at the beginning of the 19th century, a clarinet and a bass fiddle were used to accompany services, although there is no indication as to whether a choir existed then. Examination of the music library indicates that, certainly during the first half of the 20th century, there was a sizeable and enthusiastic choir which tackled a varied repertoire of Victorian choral music composed expressly to cater for the growing number of parish church choirs during the 1800s. Up to the mid 1990s St. Cuthbert's choir was all male, comprising even as late as 1980, almost 20 men and 24 boys. During the eighties, and on four occasions, boys from the choir reached the national finals of the prestigious 'Choirboy of the Year' competition held in St. George's Church, Hanover Square in London. And in 1990, a contingent of men and boys from St. Cuthbert's was invited to sing in the Albert Hall for the annual Royal British Legion Festival of Remembrance, a rare honour. In 1995 a choir of girls was formed and directed by the then Precentor of St. Cuthbert's, renowned organist Geoffrey Cassidy, and under his direction, the whole choir spent a week in August 2000 singing the daily offices at St. David's Cathedral in Wales where, incidentally, Peter Jebson accompanied the choir on a three manual Copeman Hart organ, which had been installed during the rebuilding (by Harrison & Harrison of Durham) of the cathedral's pipe organ. It was as a result of the beauty of the Unda Maris rank on the Copeman Hart in St. David's that Mr. Jebson insisted that a similar rank be included in the specification of the Lytham organ.

Choir rehearsals are usually held on Thursday evenings: Boys & Girls 7pm-7.30pm. Men 7pm-8.30pm. In addition a half hour rehearsal is held prior to each choral service. For further information relating to the choir, please contact Peter Jebson on 07989 563974.

The times of the Sunday services are as follows:

8.30am Holy Communion (according to the Book of Common Prayer 1662) with hymns
10.00am Choral Parish Eucharist (Common Worship Order One)
6:00pm Choral Evensong (men's voices) {currently not on 1st Sunday of the month}

11.00am on Fridays Holy Communion (said)