Applications open: Director of Music, St Martin’s, Bladon

Director of Music for the Parish Church of St Martin, Bladon

The parish of St Martin’s, Bladon, near Woodstock, Oxfordshire, seeks an enthusiastic choir trainer and organist to build, develop and lead our small, committed adult choir for weekly Sunday services and occasional special services. We would also hope for a candidate who would be willing to engage with our flourishing Church primary school and who would be interested in developing a junior choir to take part in worship on a regular basis. 

Music at St Martin’s Bladon

Music plays an important role in our worship at St Martin’s. There is a handsome small two-manual early 20th century Nicholson organ which the PCC is committed to restoring and enhancing. The present Director of Music, John Cullen MA MusB FRCO, has retired after a distinguished career at Abingdon and Tonbridge schools, and many years of leading the music at St Martin’s in his professional retirement. The choir sings on two Sundays a month (usually the 2nd and 4th), and the organ is also used on the 1st and 5th Sundays. There is a Family Service with instrumental accompaniment on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

As the burial place of Sir Winston Churchill there are commemorative and family events for the Spencer-Churchill family, including sometimes events involving the Royal Family and senior politicians, together with a significant number of weddings.

There is a committed robed adult choir of around 12 singers who enjoy making music together, and have a high degree of fellowship with one another. They sing an anthem at every Sung Eucharist, and the church has an Advent Carol Service, Nine Lessons and Carols, Harvest festival Evensong, and occasional other choral services spread throughout the year. 

Further details

The present incumbent is an FRCO; and the present curate is from a family of distinguished organ builders – so candidates will find strong support, encouragement, and a huge amount of goodwill in their task. 

The Director of Music is responsible to the Rector and Churchwardens for:

9.30am Holy Communion (said, with hymns) on the 1st and 5th Sundays of the month

9.30am Sung Eucharist on the 2nd and 4th Sundays of the month

Direction of Choir Practice, currently twice a month on a Wednesday evening at 7.30pm

In addition, music would be provided at Bladon on Good Friday; and other occasional evening services will also need musical provision from time to time.

The Director of Music will have use of the organ, piano, and church building, for teaching and rehearsals (by agreement with the parish office). 

Person specification 

We are looking for: 

An organist with a high standard of musicianship, and the ability to lead and accompany church music of all kinds 

The ability to encourage enthusiastic amateurs along with a sprinkling of experienced singers

The ability to motivate and inspire a Church Choir 

A person who will bring ideas on how to recruit new Choir members

The ability to work with people of all ages 

Within a broadly Liberal Catholic tradition of worship, an openness to different styles of church music, and ability to lead all styles to a high standard and with sensitivity to the needs of worship 

A person who is in sympathy with and familiar with the traditions of worship in the Church of England 

Terms and conditions
Salary will be in line with RSCM recommendations and agreed upon appointment. Additional agreed fees are paid for weddings, funerals and memorial services. Under the Diocesan Safeguarding Policy, the appointee will be required to undergo the standard Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks for adults working with children, young people and vulnerable adults. 

If you’re interested . . .

Do please contact Canon Adrian Daffern on 01993 811415 rectorblenheim@btinternet.com for an informal conversation.

To apply . . .

please send a letter of application, together with a current CV and the names of two referees, either via the email address above or by post to

The Rectory
Rectory Lane
Woodstock
OXON OX20 1UQ

Please include an email address and daytime telephone number with your application.