Church Music in Bournemouth


Worship and Music have for so long gone hand in hand.


So, it is hard at times to think of one without the other.


The United Reformed Church is part of the great Free Church Tradition. And the these Churches have had less structured worship than some denominations. As a result in their formative years in the 17th Century the Free Churches were more dependent on singing the Psalms, and a little later, hymns.  


One of the greatest hymn writers of this early period was Isaac Watts, an Independent Minister in Southampton, whose hymns are still sung the world over.

Old favourites spring to mind such as:

  • When I survey the wondrous cross 
  • Give me the wings of faith 
  • Jesus shall reign

In due course these popular hymns were taken up by our Christian friends in the Anglican and Roman Catholic Churches. Even today hymn writing is still very much alive, including the tunes which accompany them.

Not surprisingly the United Reformed Church has in turn absorbed music from other denominations too over the years, not least from its own mainly Congregational and Presbyterian inheritance.

We at Richmond Hill St.Andrew’s are indeed fortunate, enjoying as we do Sunday by Sunday music drawn from many traditions, and across the centuries. We feel this makes our worship richer, relevant and more vibrant than many of our forebears could have imagined.

Our lovely organ is a 3-manual instrument by Lewis & Co dating from 1906 and rebuilt by Henry Willis & Sons in 1965. A major restoration was carried out by Lance Foy of Truro in 2006. Since then, the firm of Andrew Cooper & Co has reconfigured the winding system and re-leathered all six bellows. The tonal scheme as planned in 2006 has now been completed with the addition of two more stops. With its rebuilt console, 46 speaking stops and 2,825 pipes, it is considered to be one of the finest organs in Bournemouth.

Further information and stop lists are contained in “Organs at Richmond Hill” priced at £2.00.


Organ Concerts

Warm thanks to everyone who attended on Saturday 23 September 2023 at 3.00pm to hear Joel Colyer playing beautiful music on our lovely organ. This recital was presented in conjunction with the Bournemouth & District Organists Association; watch this space for details of future concerts.