Founded about one hundred and fifty years ago as an all male choir,
adult women were admitted in the 1960's and girls in the late 1980's.
The musical establishment at St. Margaret's reflects what would, until
the 1960's, have been the norm for town centre parish churches up and
down the country i.e. a large(ish) choir, led by a professional organist
and choirmaster assisted by an amateur organist.
The choir provides music at the 11.00am and 6.30pm services each
Sunday but for historical reasons the evening service is the main
choir service. Evensong is sung in the parish style - chanted with
an anthem but several times a year we sing a fully choral Evensong.
The choir is affiliated to, and actively involved in the work of, the
Royal School of Church Music. Choristers from St. Margaret's have
gained a great deal of experience singing regularly in Cathedrals all
over the south and east of England as part of various RSCM choirs and,
in recent years, some members have attended residential courses at
Ely, Canterbury, Hereford and Brecon Cathedrals and Westminster Abbey.
The Choir is, perhaps, unique amongst our church organisations in that
it encompasses, as full members, those of all ages from within the
church family. For the choir, children are not merely a group that
needs to be accommodated but a vital part of its membership without
whom there is little or no future. The most junior probationer is just
as much part of the choir as our longest serving adult member.
Organist and Choirmaster John Cox says; "The work of our choir is part
of a long and cherished tradition of English church music and it gives
us a great sense of privilege and satisfaction to know that we are
helping to carry that tradition into the twenty first century".