Music is an important part of our worship at St John's. We are fortunate to have a magnificent organ and a quality choir. Sometimes our worship is also led by a worship band.
The richness of the acoustics in St John's make it a popular venue for concerts so we are able to regularly to enjoy amateur and professional performances.
If you would like to be part of the musical tradition at St John's by singing in the choir; playing in the band; or putting on a concert then please contact us:
Simon Winters joined us in January 2005. He was educated at Bancroft's School and St Anne's College, Oxford and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists.
Besides St John's, he is also musical director of the chamber choir Felicitas and of Epping Forest Voices, and is well known to many singers in Epping as he conducts Epping Chorus (formally ECCA Choir). Somehow he still finds time to teach piano, organ and recorder at Chigwell and Brentwood Schools.
Contact Simon Winters
Musical Director: Simon Winters
Our robed choir ranges in age from 7 to 80+ and is a supportive community within the church. It sings at the 9:20am Sunday Eucharist on the first, third and fourth Sundays, at our monthly Choral Evensong on the second Sunday of the month and at other special services, which include a fully choral Festival Nine Lessons and Carols Service on the last Sunday before Christmas.
Away from home, the choir has enjoyed visits to Llandaff Cathedral, Southwell Minster, Peterborough Cathedral, Portsmouth Cathedral, Chelmsford Cathedral (where the choir was described as “one of the best Parish choirs in the Diocese”) and Bath Abbey.
The choir enjoys singing a wide range of music from the likes of Byrd and Tallis through to the more contemporary styles of John Rutter, Bob Chilcott and John Tavener.
Rehearsals on Thursdays: Junior Choir 7.00pm - 7.45pm, Adult Choir 7.45 - 9.00pm. For further details contact Simon Winters.
New members are always welcome. Ideally, adults should have some singing experience, especially if singing alto, tenor or bass where some reading ability is essential. No experience is necessary for children as we follow the RSCM's Voice for Life scheme and we encourage our children to work towards the scheme's awards. Children should be 7 years or older and all we ask for is a regular and punctual commitment to weekly practices and services.
The Parish Communion at 9:20am at St John's uses sung settings for the Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei. Simon Winters, our musical director, has composed The Epping Mass which is used for most services; the music is in the service booklets for Ordinary Time.
Built by Wordsworth of Leeds, the organ was given by Ernest and Aline Wythes to commemorate their wedding in 1892. It was completed in 1894-5 and the first organ recital was given on it in the summer of 1895. With the completion of the North aisle some years later, the organ casing at the east end of the aisle was added.
The organ case was designed by the eminent Victorian craftsman, C E Kempe, the designer of three of our windows. Originally, the casing in the Choir was some 6 feet taller and the was painted scarlet. It was felt that this was too dominant and the present dark green scheme was then conceived.
The organ was completely restored by Brian Bunting of Epping in 1976. It is considered by musicians to be amongst the finest in the county. It has four manuals (i.e. keyboards) and forty speaking stops: see the listing on the National Pipe Organ Register and specifications.
The bells at St John's are rung before the main service every Sunday, at major festivals & weddings. There are occasional visits to other towers.
Bell ringing is an eco-friendly team activity that is open to everyone. It stimulates the brain and helps keep you fit, while making a glorious sound. In learning to ring you will become part of a global group of friends, start a life-long learning experience, maintain a traditional skill, serve your community and possibly get the opportunity to visit some amazing places.
If anyone of any age is interested contact: Pete Milan through the Team Office, come along to a practice session, or find out more about change ringing at Essex Association of Change Ringers
The Band, our instrumental group, accompanies worship at our Up Front, (lay-led all-age service), which is usually on the second Sunday of the month. Currently we have a wide range of musicians but would always welcome new people.
The band rehearses before the Up Front Service on the second Sunday of the month at 9am. Those who can play to a Grade 3 or 4 standard will cope easily and the music is available in advance. For further details contact Simon Winters