Our Calendar for 2022/3


Tuesday September 13th 2022 Visit to Buckland St Mary Church, starting at 2.15 p.m.

This year marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Bath organ builder William Sweetland. He was active between the years 1847 and 1902, during which time he built some 300 organs, mainly for churches in Somerset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, although he received some commissions from much further afield. His instruments were particularly noted for their quality of workmanship and sweetness of tone. Inevitably many have been lost, fallen into disuse or substantially altered by other builders, but Buckland St Mary Church possesses one which is close to its original construction and in regular use.

Some of us intend to meet for lunch beforehand, and hope that as many as can will join us. Front-runners in the choice of venue are the York Inn at Churchinford or the Candlelight at Bishopswood. The Candlelight is closer to Buckland, has ample parking and a spacious dining area, but is a more expensive “please-wait-to-be-seated” restaurant with a limited selection of pub-style food. The York is a traditional pub, selling good village pub food at village pub prices, with a wider selection of beers. My current personal preference is for the York, but I will consult other committee members before a final decision.

Friday October 14th 2022. SOCA Singing Event – learn some new hymns!  

7.30 to 8.30 pm, Taunton Minster, Church Square, Taunton TA1 1SA

John Bodiley, who will lead this workshop, has contributed the following notes:

What makes a good hymn?

SOCA stands for Somerset Organists’ and CHOIRS’ Association. Most of our events are for organists, and so we are adjusting the balance by holding one for singers, to be held at Taunton Minster on Friday 14th October. The Minster choir will form the nucleus of singers, but others, whether members of a choir or not, are welcome to take part.

The purpose is to sing through and learn up to half a dozen hymns, which will be new to most people. These will be compiled in the form of a booklet, so that those connected with church music can use them in their own services. Both the words and the tunes of these hymns will be traditional in style, rather than modern worship songs, to demonstrate that fine modern hymns with formal tunes are being written in our times. If time permits we can have some discussion on the purpose of singing hymns, and how singers might become more aware of the words and the music.

Refreshments will be served afterwards.

This will be John Bodiley’s last event before handing over the Presidency of SOCA.

Saturday November 5th 2022. AGM, Improvisation Workshop and Recital by David Davies

We are very pleased that David Davies, organist of Buckfast Abbey, has accepted our invitation to lead a workshop on improvisation and also give a recital on the day of our AGM. These events will all take place at St John’s Church, Taunton.

The timings are: AGM 10 a.m., improvisation workshop 11 a.m., recital 3 p.m. followed by refreshments.

Events for 2023 are being finalised – watch this space!