Church Life


A diverse range of musical styles and genres provides a foundation to the offering of our worship and praise to God across the parish.  There are many opportunities for musicians and singers to join in the choirs and groups.

At St.Francis and St.Faith

These Churches value the support of pianists who accompany their worship each Sunday; they always appreciate hearing from anyone who may wish to accompany their hymn singing.

At St.Mary’s

St.Mary’s enjoys a full programme of music under the direction of Paul Pilott LRAM ARCO, our Organist and Director of Music. Paul facilitates a broad repertoire of contemporary and sacred church music ranging from our Church Orchestra and Worship Band to our significant Church Choir.  New members of these groups are always welcome.

Who took the Magna Carta?

St.Mary’s Choir were interrupted in singing Evensong at Salisbury Cathedral on 25th October 2018 when a member of the congregation thought they’d try and steal the Magna Carta!  Here’s the choir and congregation waiting to go back in to worship!

St.Mary’s Church Orchestra

Playing on the 4th Sunday of the month at Church Alive and also at Christmas services, the orchestra embraces a blend of experienced and learning musicians on all instruments.  All are welcome to join in at the rehearsals which are usually on Saturday mornings.

St.Mary’s Worship Band

A contemporary folk-rock style band which accompanies our new Church Alive services on 1st, 3rd & 5th Sunday mornings of the month; for more experienced musicians and at rehearsal, for the nurture of those aspiring to play for Sunday worship.

St.Mary’s Church Choir

St. Mary’s Alverstoke Parish Church Choir comprising Adults and Children, sings Sunday by Sunday helping to lead the worship at the 9.15am and 6.30pm Services.

Recruitment is ongoing and includes annual Voice Trials in Local Schools. Musical adults and children may apply to join at any time. For children who join the choir, there are opportunities to pursue training Schemes devised by the Royal School of Church Music, where progress and achievement are recognised by the presentation of special coloured ribbons and medallions.

The Choir at Chichester Cathedral

Choir Music

St. Mary’s Choir sings a wide ranging repertoire including Anthems and Service Settings by composers from the Renaissance to the 21st Century, as well as performing up to two major works each year at special Sunday Services. Works performed complete or in part over recent years have included Handel’s Messiah, the St. Luke and St. Matthew Passions of Bach, the Requiems of Mozart, Howells, Fauré and Duruflé, the Berlioz Te Deum, Mendelssohn’s Hymn of Praise, Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius, the Glorias of both Vivaldi and Poulenc, Beethoven Mass in C, Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Vespers, etc.etc.

St. Mary’s Choir regularly visits the great Cathedrals of Southern England to sing Choral Evensong as a Visiting Choir.

Choir Rehearsal Times

Wednesdays: 4.30-5.15pm Juniors Only
Thursdays: 7.00-8.30pm Full Choir

To Enquire about joining St. Mary’s Choir please contact:

The Organist and Director of Music

Paul Pilott LRAM ARCO
T: 023 9252 6255

Organist and Director of Music

Paul Pilott LRAM ARCO
Since 1990

25 Not Out! A word from Paul Pilott upon his 25th Anniversary in the parish!

Paul is a founder member of Portsmouth District Composers’ Alliance and his music has been heard on national and local TV and Radio as well as in Europe. He is a private music teacher of organ, piano, singing and theory as well as being music assistant at two Schools. His role as official accompanist and Assistant Musical Director of Lee Singers adds to his wide ranging musical profile. He is a Past President of Portsmouth District Organists’ Association. Information about his Church Cantata ‘JUDAS ISCARIOT’, specially composed and performed in 2004 to celebrate the Centenary of the completion of St. Mary’s Tower, can be found at the Judas Iscariot web site.

St.Mary’s Church Organ

by HILL NORMAN AND BEARD, Installed 1929
Cleaned and Restored 1972
New Action and Tonal Modifications 1998

St. Mary’s Organ has stood at the centre of a cherished musical tradition in this church during most of the twentieth century. In 1996, after some years of steady decline in the condition and reliability of the instrument, the Parochial Church Council decided to embark upon a comprehensive refurbishment scheme. In order to accomplish this, St. Mary’s needed to raise over £70,000, and an Appeal was launched in October of the same year.

Various fund raising activities were initiated in the Parish, including a ‘Sponsor a Pipe’ campaign, a ‘talents’ scheme, prize draw, concerts, exhibitions, etc. and the fund quickly grew. Members of St. Mary’s Junior Choir raised the staggering sum of £2000 in a few months by doing odd jobs such as cleaning cars, gardening, fence repairs, etc. etc.

Successful Grant Aid applications were lodged with Hampshire County and Gosport Borough Councils. In addition, a request for funding through the Lottery was submitted to the Arts Council of England.
Then on 11th December 1997, came the news which everyone involved with the project was hoping for, an Arts Council Lottery Grant of ‘up to £51,000’ had been awarded. By this time, St. Mary’s own Appeal Fund had passed £20,000, and Griffiths and Cooper (Organ Builders) Ltd. of Portsmouth were invited to proceed with the work.


Just over a year later, the scheme was completed and the organ was rededicated to the glory of God in a special ceremony conducted by the then Rector of Alverstoke, Rev. Ted Goodyer. A memorable inaugural recital was given by the internationally renowned organist David Sanger in January 1999.

Since then, the improved instrument has enhanced our regular worship and numerous renowned recitalists have performed here including: Professor Ian Tracy, Stephen Farr, Simon Lole, Alan Thurlow, Geoffrey Morgan, Philip Scriven, Sarah Baldock, David Price, David Thorne, Mark Wardell, Rosemary Field, Nigel Stark, Carey Humphreys, Adrian Bawtree, Roger Bluff, Clive Driskill-Smith and David Halls.

Any item of machinery as complex as a church Organ with over 1600 pipes will require overhaul and attention every few decades. Therefore St. Mary’s Organ Fund continues in order to secure the long-term well-being and use of this fine instrument within the rich musical heritage of St. Mary’s.

Anyone may donate gifts, legacies, bequests etc., and any donor may nominate a loved one for inclusion in the attractive ‘In Memoriam’ book which is on permanent display near the organ. Please complete and submit this Donations for the Organ form if you wish to give a donation or make a bequest.

Thank you for your support.