Choral Mass settings in Latin and motets, in a variety of styles and from many centuries, are sung by a fine established choir at Solemn Masses (11am on Sunday, 6pm on Holydays) and occasionally at Vespers on important feast days. The musical experience is further enhanced by a specially commissioned organ, which was installed in 2004.

For the music at the Solemn Mass this month, see the music list.

The Music Group at the 9:30am Mass on Sundays leads the congregation in singing hymns, as well as performing musical settings, parts of the Mass, and other pieces. This group consists of singers and a variety of instrumentalists.

A History of the Organ

When the church opened it seems there were two little organs: one was in the gallery at the back of the church, the other on the floor behind the pulpit, where it can be seen in some old photographs with very decorative pipes.

Some time in the 1930s this organ disappeared, and the one from the gallery was moved into a gallery constructed in the bay of the aisle behind the pulpit. It was a nice little organ, but far too small for a church this size, and its position made it even less useful.

When the Oratorians arrived in 1990 the organ had not been maintained for years, and the choirs were accompanied by an electronic “Viscount”organ.

The decision was taken to sell the little organ to a Dutch organ firm, and it is now playing happily in a small chapel in the Netherlands. In its place we commissioned Matthew Copley of Surbiton to build something large enough for our church and fit to accompany Oratorian liturgy. It was completed in 2004, and consists of three parts: the Great and Swell Organs are on either side of the choir gallery, with the console in between. The Choir Organ is in a new gallery high up above the gallery behind the pulpit; it can be used quietly to accompany Vespers, or can dialogue with the other two along the length of the church. It is played from the same console in the gallery, although in the future a detachable console could be connected up so that it could be played from the sanctuary.

Organ console

The specifications of the new organ were designed to give it a “French accent”. The stops are: