Music and Arts

Music

Music has always been at the heart of Christian worship.  Although we are told that the disciples sang hymns (Mark 14.26), by the 4th century music was well established during services.  At St Nick’s our worship on Sunday mornings using congregational settings for the Eucharist, and our hymnody is drawn from across the centuries.

Our professional choir, the St Nicholas Singers, sings our monthly choral service (usually Choral Evensong) at 6pm on the first Sunday of every month, as well as at weddings and many of our civic, business and military services.  The St Nicholas Singers is a quintet of professional musicians formed in 1985 to provide occasional choral music at Liverpool Parish Church.  Led by their Director, Stuart Keen, they have performed in many different contexts, including Radio Four’s daily service and also BBC Songs of Praise.

St. Nicholas Singers

Since 2012, the Organist at St Nick’s has been Dr Jim Wrightson.  Long service has been a distinctive characteristic of his predecessors: since the start of the 20th century there were only 3 organists (Charles Bridson, Harry Weatherall and Derek Sadler), each serving for periods of up to 47 years!  

We regularly work with other choirs and ensembles to enable worship through music.  St Nick’s has been the base for The Oriel Singers (http://www.orielsingers.co.uk/)  since their formation in 1977 and they occasionally sing at the Parish Eucharist on Sundays. 

Liverpool Bach Collective
The Liverpool Bach Collective (https://www.facebook.com/liverpoolbachcollective/) has come to St Nick’s a number of times to perform Bach cantatas in the context of worship.  In March 2018 they will return for a special performance of the St John Passion with the soloist Nicholas Mulroy (http://nicholasmulroy.com/) as the Evangelist. 

 

Throughout the year we host a number of other concerts and performances, especially from the Italian Opera Company (http://www.liverpoolitalianopera.co.uk/).

Music at St Nick’s is usually accompanied on our 1952 Rushworth & Dreaper organ.  We are most fortunate to be the home of a 9’ Bösendorfer ‘Imperial’ Concert Grand Piano, and also regularly use our Bechstein Grand Piano.

Jim Wrightson

Visual Arts

Various forms of art are represented at St Nick’s, each of them drawing us into worship of God through beauty or religious iconography.  Around the church building you will see a number of different styles, and the walls of the Parish Centre are lined with prints and paintings showing the church throughout the centuries. Maritime Sculpture

Our most traditional artistic features are the two Romanian icons in the Nave.  On the south side is an image of Our Lady, and on the north of St Nicholas.  The largest piece in the church is Arthur Dooley’s (1929-94) sculpture of Our Lady of the Quay in the Maritime Chapel, which is reminiscent of the first Chapel built on this site in the 13th century.  There is a smaller work by Dooley in the Sacristy called Easter Lily, depicting the Virgin and Child.  Also in the Sacristy is a baptism bowl and ewer by the renowned ceramic artist Julia Carter Preston (1926-2012), and there is another of her works displayed in the Refectory.

 

Cattrall Screen
The Cattrall Screens (installed in 1984 in memory of Harvey Cattrall) separate the Narthex from the Nave.  They were engraved to the designs of David Peace, whose work is also found in Westminster Abbey.  The engravings are rich in symbols connected with the Church, and are designed to give a striking view of the hanging Rood through the plain glass chalice on the central doors.

 

Grail BoatBy the Garden door in the Nave is a wooden sculpture by Greg Tricker (b.1951) called the Grail Boat. The legend of the Grail is that the Christ Journey ends with a journey, the journey of Joseph of Arimathea with the Grail to Britain.  With him on this small boat, miraculously moved through the waters by a presiding angel, are other friends of Jesus, in particular Mary Magdalene.  The sculpture is on long-term loan from a local businessman.

 

Blitz Memorial



In the Church Gardens Tom Murphy’s Blitz Memorial sculpture sits by the wall overlooking the Strand.  This image of a family caught in the Blitz is a reminder of the suffering of the Blitz.  In 2018 another sculpture will be installed in the Gardens by Tony Evans to commemorate the sinking of the MV Derbyshire in 1980.

 

 

 

In 2018 we are also launching an exciting new artistic project.  In collaboration with dot-art (http://dot-art.co.uk/) and the Liverpool BID Company (http://www.liverpoolbidcompany.com/) we are launching a competition to use an empty plinth above Chapel Street for short term installations to animate and area which connects the Pier Head with the city’s commercial district.