Music in the Parish

Music plays a hugely important part in the life of our parish. We recognise that it is through music that many people find the deepest expression of their faith, while for others it may offer a stepping stone to greater involvement with the church. We offer our music in service to the glory of God.

At St Barnabas a 60-70-strong robed choir of adults and children leads our singing on Sundays and Holy Days and is accompanied by the 1997 Kenneth Tickell pipe organ. A large instrumental ensemble plays twice a year for Harvest Festival and for Crib Services on Christmas Eve.

At Christ’s Chapel the hymns and canticles are led by a small dedicated choir and three times a year a larger chorale sings Choral Evensong. Visiting choirs also sing Choral Evensong occasionally. Singing is accompanied by the 1760 George England organ, recently reconstructed and refurbished by William Drake of Buckfastleigh. The Chapel possesses one of the finest organs of that era in the country.

Read the Book

If you would like more information, a book describing the history of the organ and its recent reconstruction has been published by the Chapel Organist, Marilyn Harper and the former St Barnabas Director of Music and project consultant, Dr William McVicker. Copies are obtainable at a cost of £5 each from the St Barnabas Parish Office. Please apply by email or telephone. The address and telephone number are on this page.

Request a Copy


The Choir of St Barnabas numbers between 60 and 70 regular members. The choir is not auditioned; anyone who would like to come and sing is welcome. All that we require is a commitment to regular attendance at both rehearsals and services. Children are admitted to the choir from the time they are 8 years old. Children between 5 and 8 are welcome to join the Junior Choir. For more information, please contact the parish office.

St Barnabas Choir

Choir practices take place on Friday evenings. Children ages 5 to 8 are invited to join our Junior Choir which meets from 5.00pm to 5.45pm on Friday evenings with pizza served afterward. The Choir of St Barnabas (Senior Choir) rehearses after the Junior Choir on Fridays. Children ages 8-18 rehearse from 6.15pm and are joined by the adult singers from 7.00pm. We aim to finish at around 8.00pm when the children have games and social activities; the adults may do a little more singing before sharing a glass of wine. Children and adults in the Senior Choir all sing together most Sundays but there are some Sundays on which the children sing in the morning service and the adults will sing in the evening service. From time to time the Choir of St Barnabas gives public concerts and takes part in recordings and broadcasts. We also sing at all parish weddings in both St Barnabas and Christ’s Chapel. The Junior Choir sings for services once or twice a term.