All Saints Margaret Street | Dr JOHN BIRCH ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP tenable from September 2017 – Applications sought with immediate effect

Dr JOHN BIRCH ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP tenable from September 2017 – Applications sought with immediate effect


Dr JOHN BIRCH ORGAN SCHOLARSHIP tenable from September 2017 for 12 months.  

Since its foundation in the 1850s as the model church of the Catholic Revival in the Church of England, music has been central to the life of All Saints. Until 1968 through its Choir School, and since then with its excellent choir of men and women, it has sought to enhance the celebration of the Anglican liturgy in Butterfield’s stunningly beautiful church with the riches of Western church music. Each Sunday High Mass and Evensong and Benediction are sung, and High Mass on major weekday feasts. The repertoire is wide: plainchant and polyphony, Baroque and Victorian, Latin and English, complemented by vigorous hymn singing and accompanied by a fine Harrison & Harrison organ which underwent major restoration in 2002.  

Although the resident population of its tiny parish is small, All Saints continues to draw large congregations from across London. It is no Sunday-only church. Its doors are open from 7am to 7pm daily with Morning and Evening Prayer and three celebrations of the Eucharist each day to meet the needs of those who work in the West End. In this as in other things, All Saints seeks to remain faithful to its calling to be a centre of Christian presence and mission in London; a place of Christian teaching, pastoral care and spiritual guidance.  

The commitment of All Saints to excellence in church music has been reinforced in recent years by the establishment of a Choir and Music Trust Fund, and also by the foundation of an Organ Scholarship, augmented by a legacy from the estate of Dr John Birch (Organist of All Saints, 1953- 1958) which we hope will benefit not only All Saints but also the wider Church.                                              The Revd Alan Moses, Vicar


Details of the Dr John Birch Scholarship

The Organ Scholarship offers training in organ playing for the Anglo-Catholic liturgy, particularly in plainsong accompaniment and liturgical improvisation, in addition to a rich and varied repertoire of mass settings, canticles and anthems. The music of the church is centred on the 4-manual Hill/Harrison instrument of 1910, widely regarded as a superb instrument.

The church has an international reputation for the quality of its liturgical music, which is provided by a professional Choir of 11 singers (4S, 2A, 2T, 3B), a Director of Music, an Assistant Director of Music and an Organ Scholar.  

The Director of Music provides ongoing support and guidance for the Organ Scholar throughout the tenure, together with the Assistant Director of Music. This may include solo repertoire, assistance with preparation for ARCO and FRCO, and other diplomas and examinations. The Organ Scholar’s contribution to the musical life of All Saints is greatly valued by members of the congregation and Choir alike.  

The Assistant Director of Music is Jeremiah Stephenson, and the current Organ Scholar is Laurence Long, a 3rd year student at the Royal College of Music.                                                                                                                                      

Terms and Conditions

Length of tenure

For one year, renewable by invitation for an additional year, running 1 September to 31 August for (a) those undertaking undergraduate study in London and (b) post-graduate students under 25 at the start of the scholarship.

We are willing to consider applicants from outside the UK, providing necessary immigration controls and visa restrictions can be met by the candidate. If this applies to you, please write to the Director of Music at the email address below, giving an outline of your circumstances, before making a formal application. All candidates will be expected to be available to audition at All Saints, and on a prescribed date if combined auditions are arranged. Speculative recordings are not accepted.  

Attendance, holidays

Attendance is expected at all choral services and practices, including Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. The Organ Scholar acts as the second Assistant in the Music Department; the whole team carries out occasional tasks to assist in the smooth running of the church’s music (for example, assisting with the Library).  

Absences after Christmas, Easter and during the summer holidays are arranged in conjunction with the three organists, and with the approval of the Director of Music. The Organ Scholar is expected to provide cover during holiday times as part of this team, but these are compensated by time off in lieu.  

Remuneration and other benefits

(i) The annual remuneration is currently £2,460 payable in 12 monthly instalments, reviewed by the PCC annually.  Extra fees are payable for special events and services when the Organ Scholar acts as the Assistant Organist. There is the possibility of assistance with examination fees or other legitimate study costs.

(ii) Free use of the four-manual Harrison organ and the Choir Room Steinway at agreed times.  


Enquiries for an informal audition and discussions are now welcome, to Mr Timothy Byram-Wigfield, Director of Music

For a formal application you will be asked to provide a CV, details of your education and musical attainment to date, including any recitals or other musical activity which you think strengthen your application, together with the names and full contact details of two referees. In your covering letter, we ask you to give a brief outline of your interest in the scholarship, and how you see it benefitting your musical progress and development.

Auditions and interviews

Candidates are invited to play two contrasting pieces, one of which must be from the Baroque period, lasting no more than 15 minutes, and an excerpt from a standard accompaniment.  There will be sight-reading and transposition tests, and the candidate will be asked to improvise briefly. The expected minimum standard is ARCO, but the potential and musical aptitude of the candidate will be taken into consideration. There will also be a brief informal interview with The Revd Alan Moses, the Vicar of All Saints.                     

Parish Office: 7, Margaret Street, London W1W 8 JG. 
Tel: 020 7 636 1788