Director of Music and Organist

This job has now expired
In line with RSCM guidelines



We wish to appoint a Director of Music and Organist to continue our rich and varied musical tradition, centred around our high quality SATB choir. The successful applicant will be expected to share in the ongoing development of our worship. 

Safer recruitment guidelines will be used in making this appointment.

It is expected that the director of music will work 7.5 hours per week. Tasks will include:

  • Overseeing the musical life of St John's and offering support as required at St Luke’s
  • Playing and leading the music at services or enabling others to do so
  • Working closely with our volunteer musicians
  • Running weekly Friday night choir practices and other rehearsals as required. Once a month this practice is open to all to help encourage more people to sing and perhaps join the choir.
  • Developing the participation of the congregation, including children, in music worship
  • Agreeing music and hymns for services with the clergy
  • Overseeing the maintenance, including tuning, of the organ and piano
  • Maintaining the library of music

The Director of Music will report to the Rector. The person appointed is expected to liaise with the clergy, service leaders, churchwardens and others who hold positions of responsibility as required.

Please see the attached job description for more details.

It is expected the successful candidate will:

  • be fully in sympathy with our Mission Action Plan (supplied separately)
  • be a qualified musician who has relevant experience in directing church music
  • see Spirit-inspired music ministry as an essential factor in enabling congregational growth
  • be able to communicate well with people of all ages
  • have good organisational skills

Please see the attached job description for more details.


The parish of Bilton (population c. 18,000) is situated on the northern side of the spa town of Harrogate, with easy access to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales and the cities of Leeds and York. Bilton itself is a settled, socially mixed area with 7 primary schools. Of our two churches, St John’s (designed by George Gilbert Scott, opened 1857) is the larger, with an average adult attendance of 110 alongside around 40 young people. There is a well-established SATB robed choir with a good spread of ages. Meanwhile St Luke’s, built in 1959, has an average attendance of 24 adults and 8 children per Sunday.  

Presently at St John’s the choir practices on Friday evenings, with junior choir meeting first, then being joined by the rest of the members (NB this timing is not set in stone). There is also a brief practice before the main Sunday service. As well as leading the congregational singing, the choir usually sings an anthem during the administration of Communion, and sings an introit as required.

We have an excellent and well-maintained organ built by Hill and Sons of London, with pipes by Lewis & Co also of London, and there is an extensive library of choral music built up over many years.

Meanwhile at St Luke’s the music is undertaken by a variety of musicians including our musically gifted team vicar, but does need fresh oversight and input.


Our belief is that music is integral to our life and growth as a worshipping community, not least because the Holy Spirit chooses to work through music to draw people into the presence of God, and our desire to appoint a new musical director shows our commitment to this belief. It is also our belief that our worship can and should be expressed in a variety of styles ranging from the traditional to the contemporary, and the musical director will be expected to embrace and nurture this diversity.