Music

I have been interested in music my whole life, one of my earliest memories is trying to play the Pink Panther theme tune on the piano while either at nursery or in the infants. But, apart from learning to play the recorder, it was towards the end of my primary education that I began learning to play properly, when John Purver, the All Saints’ Reading organist, tried to teach me the piano. I wasn’t the best student, not practicing enough, and just wanted to progress to the church organ.

After passing Grades 1 and 2 on the piano I pretty much gave up (having only achieved the pass mark for Grade 2 there didn’t seem much potential for improvement). As I entered the Sixth Form, a new music teacher energised everyone with a jazz & blues band, which encouraged me to learn to play again. Not seeing much chance of playing piano adequately, I quickly learnt to play the bass guitar as well, later learning rhythm guitar as well.

Listening to music I have an eclectic range of likes, from classical to prog rock (in particular Genesis).

After finishing university I was privileged to be invited to join a local band, CPWP (Can’t Play, Won’t Play), playing jazz, rock, and worship music. A varied mix! In 2002 we recorded an EP, from which the song “Don’t Play Games with Love” achieved some airplay with a local radio station.

As I started training for ordination it seemed right to leave the band to focus my attention on my studies. But, while at Cuddesdon, I had the opportunity to practice on the church organ occasionally, at last learning more about what made it tick.

The early years of ministry didn’t see much music take place apart from occasional practices on the keyboards at home (don’t change the habit of a lifetime), but gradually I found myself practicing more and more on the church organ, occasionally playing for services.

Playing bass guitar at a Christingle service

Towards the end of my time in Surrey I had the opportunity to join the house band in a local community club, playing keyboards and bass guitar, and even occasionally singing – something I couldn’t have imagined only a few years ago.