Church Organist and Choir
Stewart Hankinson BEd, LLCM, LGSMD, LNCM, AMusLCM
Stewart began his involvement in church music as a boy chorister at St John's Church in Lytham where he became organist at the young age of 15 years. Since then he has played at a number of churches in Lancashire and Yorkshire and became the organist at St Paul's in February 2008.
During a varied and wide-ranging professional career, Stewart has appeared in concerts, recitals and in the theatre, as a baritone soloist, an accompanist and a conductor. He has taught singing, piano and organ since being 20 years of age, as a private tutor and in schools and colleges. After taking a degree in education he worked throughout the Northwest, latterly as Head of Music and Performing Arts at a comprehensive school in Manchester.
He has now returned to his roots in teaching, performing as a singer, accompanist and conductor and playing the organ as a freelance musician. He enjoys developing his work in the field of writing and composition.
St Paul's has a mixed-voice choir, most of whom have many years of experience in choral singing. They are a committed and enthusiastic group who enhance our worship by their involvement. During the past three years membership has more than doubled, allowing the choir to perform in 2, 3 & 4 parts, both accompanied and a cappella. Anthems are usually performed at Christmas, Easter and Harvest and at other special services as required. Repertoire is varied in style and genre and has included compositions by Cope, Rutter, Archer, Wesley, Leavers, Green and Kendrick.
Our Sunday service at 9.45 am is a Choral Eucharist, which since 2009 has been our own "Warton" Mass setting written especially for us by, our present organist, who also composes and arranges music for special services. On the 1st and 3rd Sundays we have Sung Evensong at 6pm.
The choir is a friendly and welcoming group of people and we would love to see the membership increase. If you enjoy singing, even if you have not been to our church before, we would be only too happy to meet you and for you to join us.
Weddings at St. Paul's are always memorable events which we hope is partly due to the music in the service. With over 40 years’ experience of playing for weddings, our organist is able to offer advice on suitable pieces for the entrance of the bride, hymns, music during the signing of the register and at the exit of the happy couple.
In addition, you may wish the choir to lead and support your hymn-singing and we would be only too pleased to discuss your individual needs with you. This is a very special day and the music content should be an important part of it.
Please contact the Priest-in-charge or the Organist for further information.