St Paul’s Streatham
I am Martin Callingham and my church is St Paul’s Furzedown (Tooting – though it is referred to in the Organ Register as being in Streatham) which was opened in 1926. The church’s details are here:
The church is now part of a Team Ministry with two other church of quite different worship styles. The three churches work very well together and equally closely with the Mitcham Lane Baptist Church. There is a good interaction with the local community.
The churches combine to run, among other things, a long established Youth Club, a Holiday at Home week and provide a Christmas lunch for those who would prefer not to eat alone.
St Paul’s, in particular, runs one of the Wandsworth Food Banks with church and community volunteers and over the year it runs a variety of events primarily to serve the community and hopefully bring some into the church. These include: a back to school party for primary school age children in August, a Flower Festival in the Summer and a Summer Concert, Passion music concert before Easter (this years being a performance of Stainer’s Crucifixion) and a variety of fairs.
The service style is traditional Anglican service with sung Gloria, Sanctus, Acclamations and Agnus Dei.
The congregation comprises a large proportion of first generation immigrants from the Caribbean and West Africa who are attracted to the traditional Anglican service – and are good singers!
I generally start playing about 5 minutes before the procession enters, across communion and, of course, at the end of the service.
I try to fill in with organ ‘noises’ when there is a gap with some extemporisation though it is more like doodling – I see my role very much as providing the oil of the service.
We have a small group who sing in parts as a choir and also perform appropriate music across communion. In addition, we have a professional cellist, who occasionally plays for the service, and I sometimes play the piano across communion to provide a change.
The organ has two manuals and was originally from Kingston Parish Church and I think built by Willis.
See some photos of the church and its surroundings and you can hear me playing the one of the ‘Communions’ by Theodore Dubois by clicking the photo or here.
Details of the organ are: http://www.npor.org.uk/NPORView.html?RI=R00303
The organ suffered water damage mainly to the pedal pipes which has just been repaired and the the Great pipes cleaned. The organ sounds surprisingly good and is loud enough to to handle a congregation of over 450 which we occasionally get for funerals: by virtue of the demographics of the congregations we get more funerals than weddings, though more recently we have had a reasonable numbers of Baptisms. Normally the congregation numbers about 40, but they are good singers and are very appreciative of the music.