St Matthew's Church, Northampton

St Matthew's Church

St Matthew's Church, Northampton
Country United Kingdom
Denomination Church of England
Churchmanship Anglo Catholic
Dedication St. Matthew
Diocese Peterborough
Province Canterbury
Vicar(s) Fr Nicholas Setterfield
Organist/Director of music Stephen Moore
Organist(s) Jonathan Starmer
Churchwarden(s) Ann Walker & Rosamund Catlin

St Matthew's Church, Northampton is a Church of England parish church in Northampton, within the Diocese of Peterborough.


St Matthew's follows an Anglican service with Catholic traits. The church celebrates two Eucharistic services on a Sunday including a Parish Mass at 10.15am which is Choral on Feast Days. The Parish Mass is 'pro populo' on the Nave Altar and the Lectern has recently been moved from the Chancel step to the High Altar to make way for a traditional statue of St Matthew. Choral Evensong is sung twice a month with Benediction following the service on the third Sunday of each. The church maintains a daily Eucharist service and has done since its founding in 1893. The Daily Offices of Morning & Evening Prayer are also said publicly every day of the year.


Music has long been an important part of the life of St Matthew's, both liturgically and through links forged with local educational, amateur and professional ensembles.

For many years St Matthew's had an all-male choir which was disbanded in the early 2000s. The choir now consists of girl and boy choristers aged 8-18 and adult Altos, Tenors and Basses who sing two services each Sunday. The church choir is supported by The St Matthew's Singers, a choir of local amateur singers, who sing Choral Mass on mid-week Feast Days. The whole music department is overseen by a Director of Music, Parish Organist and Organ Scholar.

The choir has undertaken a tour each year since 2012. These have included week-long trips to sing at St Davids (2012), Portsmouth (2013), Carlisle (2014), Exeter (2015) and Chester (2016). The choir has released two CDs in recent years; in 2013 a disc of music for Advent and Christmas, and in 2014 a recording including recent commissions from David Bednall, David Halls and Philip Stopford.

St Matthew's is a concert venue in Northampton. The church is home to the Northampton Bach Choir who were founded by Denys Pouncey in 1935 and for many years had St Matthew's Director of Music as its Director. The church also has links with the Northampton Music and Performing Arts Trust, the Northampton Philharmonic Choir, the Northampton Chamber Choir and many other groups. Regular organ recitals take place.

List of organists

Many of the previous St Matthew's Directors of Music have gone on to hold important positions in Church Music. These have included Kings College, Cambridge, Wells Cathedral, Norwich Cathedral, Blackburn Cathedral, Llandaff Cathedral, York Minster, and the Cathedral of St John the Divine, New York City. Andrew Reid, a St Matthew's Organ Scholar, is now Director of the Royal School of Church Music.

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Musical commissions

A list of musical commissions of St Matthew's Church is here below:


  1. Dictionary of Organs and Organists. Frederick W. Thornsby
  2. The Hymnal 1982 companion, Volume 2. Raymond F. Glover
  3. Norwich Cathedral: church, city, and diocese, 1096-1996. Ian Atherton
  4. Alan Macfarlane (interviewer) (4 July 2008). "Stephen Cleobury interviewed". Alan D.J.Macfarlane (online). Retrieved 25 December 2014.

Coordinates: 52°15′08″N 0°52′39″W / 52.25222°N 0.87750°W / 52.25222; -0.87750

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