AFTER almost 15 years the man who has led the music at a special parish church near Tenbury is moving on.

There will be a very special choral evensong this Sunday to say farewell.

The church choir will lead worship with Evensong sung in the rarely heard Wood in C. The anthem is also by Wood, “O Thou the Central Orb”. Indroit by the Founder, Sir Frederick Ouseley – “From the Rising of the Sun”. Roger Judd will be playing the organ.

This is a sad day for the parish as this will be the last service where the choir will be directed by Organist and Director of Music, John Swindells. He takes up a new post at St.Martin’s Church, London Road, Worcester in October.

He leaves after 13 years of service during where he re-founded an adult SATB church choir which now numbers 15.

This is quite a record only beaten by an earlier Master of Music during the College Days who occupied the post for 14 years. Roger Judd, Organist Emeritus, was the last Master of the Music before the College closed in 1986.

He occupied the post for 12 years, again, quite a record. In his time at St. Michael’s John has also developed and coordinated its Annual Music Programme extensively, welcoming big orchestral concerts and choral events as well as visiting organists and choirs for the liturgy.

The vacant post for this important position is due to be advertised shortly.

It comes at an interesting time in the history and development of this “mini cathedral” and College Chapel, a perfect example of Victorian architecture.

St Michael’s Church was built in 1976. Current plans involve access for disabled visitors, the installation of toilet and kitchen and other facilities for community use.

A new heating boiler is also being installed. H-art taking place this September an is one way in which attempts are being made to open up churches to the community.

St Michael’s is looking for new ways to get people involved and using the building.

In the past it has staged special events and exhibitions including two that were put on as part of the village’s commemoration of the 100 years that have passed since the First World War.

H-art is a two-week event involving many exhibitors who need modern facilities together with power and lighting throughout the nave.