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 vacancy in 2017 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 manuals a pedal board with an electric action and detached console. It has undergone several careful modifications and is maintained regularly 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 from 7.30pm to 9.15pm and on Sunday mornings briefly before the 10.30am service. Other arrangements for practising might be considered in future. 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 flexible group of sensitive musicians, and there is scope for development. At the present time the instruments include guitar, cello, percussion and piano in addition to vocalists.   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 sounds, including piano, harpsichord and organ simulations, is used in the Braid Room, a church hall where some services take place. There is also a new acoustic upright piano in the church and older instruments in two other halls, all of which are regularly tuned.  There are some percussion instruments which are increasingly used with enthusiasm by the Young Church groups.

Pattern of Worship

Our worship aims to include the best of music of all periods from medieval to modern, and to value choral music as a living tradition. Congregational singing is extremely important at Greenbank, and our worship is designed to enable this as well as to nurture choir and organ music alongside high quality contemporary worship music with the praise band.

  • Sunday morning service at 10.30am in the church except for 7 weeks in June–August
  • From mid-June to mid-August a less formal service without choir at 10.00am
  • 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 shared on the first Sundays of March, June, September and December at 9.30am in the Centenary Hall (new style Family Service), 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 and in quiet form without music at 9.30am on the third Sunday of each month.

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 Family 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.  An Advent Carol Service on the evening of Advent Sunday is being introduced in 2018 and will involve a new Community choir.

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.  Remuneration in the region of £8,000 could be offered for an exceptional candidate.

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

Although there are currently no formal Young Church music groups,   there are good signs that children and young people in the area wish to participate in singing or playing church music. This is an area ripe for encouragement and development.


Some services are recorded on CD and copies distributed on a listen and return basis to housebound members.  We are looking seriously at the possibility of live streaming of services over our website.  

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 is available from The Rev Dr Martin Ritchie or

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

Applications for appointment accompanied by a CV and the names of two referees should be addressed to Mrs Macniven.

Access to try out the organ can be arranged by contacting the Office as above or Tel 0131 447 9969.


Director of Music
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