A MESSAGE on our church website proclaims: 'We have a strong musical tradition with three choirs providing singing opportunities for children, young people and adults.' A recent ceremony during High Mass showed that Fr Philip means to continue the good work.
The installation of eight choral scholars, aged from 12 to 19, underlined his intentions. He explained: 'Our central vision in developing both an Organ Scholar, Tammas Slater, last autumn, and the new Choral Scholars scheme is to develop musicians, and specifically church musicians, of the future.
'Through the Scholarships we are providing a unique opportunity in a parish context for young people to develop skills as musicians which will benefit them throughout their lives, and could benefit God's Church wherever they may go in the future.,
 'As a boy I sang in our church choir from the age of seven and through that experience I eventually came to ordination and the priestly life. In whatever vocation these young people may follow, we are offering them the opportunity of a unique experience which will be infinitely valuable to them, and which, I believe, they will never forget.'
Director of Music Christopher Rathbone enthusiastically endorses the Vicar's comments and adds: 'We’ve been looking for some time for a way of enticing the wonderful young singers whom Sue Gray has been developing over the past eight years.
' We were encouraged by the healthy state of the Music Fund to offer a financial inducement to these highly-promising youngsters, and  Sue persuaded a group of Cant and Dec graduates to sign up, committing themselves to at least 10 weeks of practices and services per term.'
The Music Fund  has grown to several thousand pounds from a steady trickle of retiring collections from Christopher's monthly organ recitals and choir fees for weddings and funerals and Christopher says:  'This scheme is a vital part of our ongoing encouragement for youngsters, who have to be our future at St Margaret’s. What a wonderful chance for them to be involved week by week in performing some of the masterpieces of church music, whether from the Renaissance repertoire of Masses by Palestrina, Byrd and Lassus or in the classics of the 20th English anthems and service music.'  Mike Casey