My Church October

St John the Evangelist, Shirley

RichardI am Richard Pilliner, Organist here at St John the Evangelist, Shirley.

Click on my picture to hear and see me playing Bach’s C minor prelude BWV 546/1 and saying something about the church (1.50 mins).

Since 1854, St. John’s Church has been a “picture postcard” church in Shirley, on the borders of Croydon and West Wickham. I joined the church as organist rather more recently in 2000 and since then have had the treat of using the fine Frobenius organ, which replaced an undistinguished instrument by John Compton in 1992. the NPOR link is

This is a baroque organ, with two manuals (one enclosed) and pedals. b4P1040105redWhilst it does full justice to organ literature of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, it  requires some imagination to make it a suitable vehicle for accompanying Anglican liturgy – playing certain registrations an octave lower, for instance, to produce the depth and richness of tone needed for psalms and settings. Having said that, it fulfills the musical criteria of one being able to hear every note clearly and is a perfect practice instrument for all schools of repertoire. This organ takes no prisoners. If you can play it beautifully here, you can play it anywhere. Click on the picture of the organ to hear and see me playing Bach’s Vor Deinen Thron tret ich BWV 668 (2.29 mins).



Click the photo of the church to see something of the exterior and interior of St John and hear and see me playing Bach’s : Dies sind die heiligen zehen Gebot BWV 678 (5.40 mins).

For those of you who are willing to make the journey, you are welcome to come to play it and hear for yourselves the bright pleno, the singing 8ft Principal on the Great and some flute stops of great beauty and character.  But don’t take my word for it – come and try it !


Richard Pilliner

You can contact Richard by using the website tab 'Contact us'.


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