Director of Music

St John the Baptist, Spencer Hill, Wimbledon SW19 4NZ

Director of Music/Organist – Job Specification
(Closing date for applications: Friday 23 June 2017)

St John the Baptist Church in Wimbledon is looking to appoint a Director of Music to lead and develop the musical life of the church. St John’s is part of the benefice of Wimbledon (Team Ministry) comprising four churches, each with their own traditions.

Music plays an integral part in the life and mission of St John’s, a friendly and welcoming church with a thriving musical tradition built up over the past 10 years by Michael Higgins. The church (consecrated in 1875 and a Grade II listed building) is blessed with a fine acoustic, a Steinway grand piano and a recently restored 3 manual Norman & Beard organ. St John’s runs monthly Friday lunchtime recitals and is one of the principal venues for the Wimbledon International Music Festival.


To underpin and enhance the worshipping life of the church of St John the Baptist by further developing the musical contribution to church services and community activities.  

This role will include training, conducting and developing the established voluntary, mixed-voice chamber choir; encouraging the congregation’s musical participation including the children; working with the Vicar to select appropriate music for regular and special services that enhance St John’s traditions and message; and engaging with the wider community through music, where appropriate.

St John’s choir membership is drawn from within the congregation, as well as the active local musical community that includes Wimbledon Choral Society, Wimbledon Community Chorus, as well as several smaller choirs.

Over the past 10 years the Director of Music, Michael Higgins, has developed St John’s choir with his inspirational leadership, including commissioning an anthem from Will Todd that was first performed by St John’s choir at Candlemas this year.

A regular performance, when the choir is joined by other singers in the Parish and further afield, is of Faure’s Requiem on Remembrance Sunday evening, accompanied by organ and string quintet. Similarly the regular numbers of the choir are augmented when there is a “come and sing” Evensong, which like the Faure performance, draws singers from a wider distance. A regular series of Friday lunchtime recitals given by professional musicians is another way in which St John’s brings high quality music into the wider local community, with between 40 and 80 regularly in the audience.

The Director of Music reports to the Vicar of St John’s, the Rev’d Bruce Rickards.


  1. Direct the choir at Sung Eucharist at 10.15 am on Sunday (one Sunday a month is a Family Service with organ but without adult choir)
  2. Lead the choir in rehearsals, including preparation for rehearsals and related administration and pastoral support. The rehearsals are currently on Friday evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm and on Sunday morning at 9.15am
  3. Meet the Vicar regularly to plan services, and liaise with him concerning the choice of hymns, anthems and any other music to reflect and support the liturgy/theme of the service
  4. Play the organ (or arrange for an organist) at each Sunday 10.15am Sung Eucharist
  5. Arrange music with couples for weddings and play, when possible, at weddings, funerals and memorial services
  6. Recruit and nurture new members of the adult choir, and build a children’s choir
  7. Organise and develop, in consultation with the Vicar, Wardens and Treasurer as applicable, the established Friday lunchtime series of recitals (reaching an audience beyond the Sunday congregation and including those who would not otherwise have access to concert-quality music) plus occasional special events, such as the Faure Requiem on Remembrance Sunday. (Professional musicians for Remembrance Sunday 2017 already booked)
  8. Purchase music and maintain the choral music library
  9. Engage accompanists and deputies for agreed absences, within the budget set by the Treasurer
  10. Supervise and arrange maintenance of the organ and piano(s), in consultation as applicable, with the Treasurer and Wardens
  11. Advise the Vicar, Wardens and Treasurer, as applicable, on matters relating to the role of Director of Music and liaise with the church administrator regarding all church concerts and special events organized by the Director of Music.
  12. Provide material to the church administrator to ensure that the church website is kept up to date
  13. Promote musical initiatives that engage with the wider community through music


The successful candidate will be:

  1. experienced in training and conducting choirs, applying artistic flair and leadership to realise the potential of both choir and congregation, from a sound base of good conducting technique and musicianship
  2. a highly competent organist, to ARCO/FRCO standard
  3. able to build and maintain good working relationships; able to communicate confidently with people of all ages and with a range of musical experience and expectations; and also capable of working independently and of taking the initiative in developing new ideas within the context of St John’s ethos and traditions
  4. familiar with the format of traditional Anglican church services
  5. able to engage with the Christian mission of St John’s


Fees paid for the performance of this role will be in accordance with RSCM guidelines for professional musicians and dependent on skills and experience

  1. The post holder is expected to be available in the week before Easter and Christmas (including those festivals)
  2. The post holder will have first refusal on playing at weddings and funerals in St John’s
  3. The post holder will work within the Wimbledon Team and PCC policies and procedures for Safeguarding
  4. There will be a probationary period for the post holder and St John’s to assess the working relationship


Applications should include:

  1. a detailed CV
  2. a full covering letter explaining why you are applying and why you feel you are well suited for the post.
  3. contact details of two individuals who have knowledge of your professional work and have agreed to act as referees. At least one should be a musician with a recognised standing within the profession.

Applications should be sent to The Administrator by email on

If you would like to discuss the post with the Vicar of St John’s, Rev’d Bruce Rickards, please either email him on or call him on 07850 655102.


Closing date for applications: Friday 23 June 2017
Interviews (to be held in the church): Saturday 1 July 2017 (morning)
Choir trials for shortlisted candidates: 14 & 16 July, and 21 & 23 July 2017
Job commences: September 2017

Service times


8:30am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:15am Sung Eucharist

2nd Sunday of the month

10:15am Family Service