Edinburgh Greenbank Parish Church

Director of Music – Information Sheet

The congregation attaches very high importance to the place of music in worship.  In a consultation at the start of the recent vacancy, music was placed as the most important of a number of factors that are helpful to faith.

The Organ

The organ was built by Ingram and consists of two manual keyboards and a pedal board with detached console and electric action; it has undergone several careful modifications and is currently regularly maintained by PM Pipe Organ Maintenance, Ltd of Bonnybridge.

The Choir

The choir currently consists of 8 sopranos, 8 contraltos, 3 tenors and 5 basses who lead the singing at the 10.30am Sunday service.  They are committed and enthusiastic, mostly now retired.  They sing an Introit and Anthem at most services from late September until the end of May and take part in other events requiring choral input.  At present, from mid-September until the end of May, they rehearse on Thursday evenings between 7.30pm and 9.15pm and on Sunday mornings briefly before the 10.30am service.  The repertoire extends from 16th to 21st century.  There is a substantial library of choral music and a small fund for the purchase of music new to the choir.

The Praise Band

This is a flexibly sized and composed group with scope for development.  At the present time the instruments played include guitar, cello, percussion and piano; and there is a vocalist.  The Band currently contributes one or two items at some of the 10.30am Sunday services.

Other musical instruments

An electronic instrument with a variety of stops, including piano, harpsichord and organ simulations, is used in the Braid Room, a church hall where the choir practises and where some services take place.  There is also an acoustic upright piano in the church and in two other halls, all of which are regularly tuned.  There are some percussion instruments for use by the Young Church groups.

Pattern of Worship

The current pattern of worship is as follows, but it should be noted that the Presbytery will soon induct the new Minister and the pattern may change.  The Minister elect is Dr Martin Ritchie, himself formerly an organist and choir director.  In the vacancy consultation the congregation expressed a wish to see more variety in worship,

  • A 10.30am service in the church on every Sunday morning of the year
  • From mid-June to mid-August a less formal half-hour service at 9.30am in the modern Centenary Hall, usually led by small groups of members of the congregation
  • First Sunday Service held in the Centenary Hall at 9.30am on the first Sundays of October, November, February, April and May, led by groups of members
  • The Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper is served on the first Sundays of March, June, September and December at 9am and 10.30am in the church and at 3pm in the Braid Room
  • Communion is also celebrated at 9.30am on Easter Sunday and Pentecost prior to the main service at 10.30am.

Evening services from Monday to Friday during Holy Week are held in conjunction with Morningside Parish Church, in Morningside one year and in Greenbank the other year.

At Christmas there is a traditional Lessons and Carols Service at one of the 10.30am services in December, a Christingle Service at 7pm on Christmas Eve, a Watchnight service at 11pm on Christmas Eve and a morning service at 10.30am on Christmas Day.  An evening of communal carol singing with contributions from the choir and other musicians followed by refreshments is also usually held on a Sunday near to Christmas Day.

Baptisms are conducted during morning services.

Weddings and funeral services occur occasionally in the church; involvement of the organist will depend on availability of the post-holder and will be remunerated as additional services.

There are several musicians in the congregation who play either the organ or one of the other instruments at some of the services, usually the shorter, less formal, ones.  The Director of Music will coordinate their input.


Remuneration is negotiable but will be based on the Scottish Federation of Organists’ Recommended Salary Scales published on the Church of Scotland website.

Contract of employment

This will be based on the Church of Scotland’s style of contract for employment of organists amended as appropriate by agreement with the appointee.  It will include terms for paid leave of absence, normally 6 weeks, sickness absence and safeguarding conditions regarding work with children and vulnerable adults.  The post-holder will be expected to become a Scheme member in terms of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups (Scotland) Act 2007 (PVG).

Minister and other office-bearers

The Minister is responsible for worship and will choose the hymns for the services.  The organist is responsible for the music aspects including choice of introits, anthems and other music sung by the choir, but should liaise with the minister over tunes to be used in hymns and suitability of anthems for seasons and themes within the church year.  There is a full-time youth associate who is involved with the young people in the congregation and participates in some parts of morning worship.

Participation of young people in the musical aspects of worship

There are currently no formal Young Church music groups.  A Junior Choir, trained by musicians in the congregation, was disbanded some years ago as numbers dwindled.  There is currently some evidence that children and young people in the area wish to participate in singing or playing church music.  The Kirk Session would like to explore the possibilities for development of this interest in conjunction with the new minister, the youth associate and others involved in the Christian education of the young people in the congregation and parish.


Some services are recorded on CD and copies distributed on a listen and return basis to housebound members.  No other recordings are currently made although the possibility of live streaming of services over our website is being investigated.

Church profile

Further information about the church and its activities can be found on our website http://www.greenbankchurch.org .


Further information about this post can be obtained from

  Mrs Valerie Macniven, Session Clerk,
  Greenbank Parish Church,
  Braidburn Terrace,
  Edinburgh EH10 6ES
  (email greenbankchurch@btconnect.com)

to whom applications for appointment, accompanied by a CV and the names of two referees, should be addressed;

Access to try out the organ can be arranged by contacting the current organist and choir director, Mr Alan Irvine (Tel 0131 447 4666).

Director of Music
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