Cross icon Penzance Catholic Church website - The Holy Family Parish > "music" < || sitemap

Click church icon for homepage

MUSIC at Penzance Catholic Church

Choral Tradition & Gaudete, the Choir Association | The Organ | Music and Arts Festival | Links

"Holy Family" icon

"The true purpose of sacred music … is the glory of God and the sanctification of the faithful." ~ (Musicam Sacram, 1967 - Vatican II)


Choir - Our choir welcomes new singers in all voices, to join their friendly & committed group. They sing at the 11am Solemn Mass on Sundays, on Holy Days and at Choral Evening Prayer on the 3rd Sunday of the month.

Music ranges from Plainsong through Polyphony, to quality contemporary music. They rehearse on Wednesday evenings. Basic sight-reading skills are helpful but not essential. If you are open to developing your musical ability, vocal tuition forms part of rehearsals. You don’t need to be a Catholic, there are already Christians of other denominations who are members. They just ask you take on the ethos of what they do in leading music in worship.

If this interests you or someone you know, please speak to David after the 11am Mass or contact him via the parish office. Without parishioners & friends committing to this valuable tradition it will disappear. Your choir needs YOU!

'Gaudete', The Choir Association supports the choir and music in the parish. New members very welcome.

Monthly Choral Evening Prayer - Usually 3rd Sunday, see newsletter for dates.

speaker icon Listen to Music for the Triduum (an archive made for listening during Covid-19 restrictions on singing)


"Singing must be regarded as an asset to any celebration." ~ (The Directory on Children’s Masses, 1973)

topDove Bar


The Organ in our Penzance church was built by Mr. George Tucker of the Octagon Organ Works, Plymouth at a cost of £300, all of which had been contributed. It was inaugurated on 23rd of September 1884.

For information on the organ's current specification see record D05160 in the National Pipe Organ Register

Original specification:

SWELL:  Violin Diapason, 8ft; Lieblick Gedact, 8ft; Dulciana, 8ft; Vox Angelica, 8ft; Gemshorn, 4ft; Dulcet Mixture, 2 ranks; Horn, 8ft; Oboe, 8ft.

GREAT:  Principal, 8ft; Salicional, 8ft; Open Diapason, 8ft; Hohl Flute, 4ft; Harmonic Flute, 4ft; Fifthteenth, 2ft; Lieblick Bbonvoon, 16ft; Clarionet, 8ft.

PEDAL:  Bourdon, 16ft; Sub Bass, 16ft;

COUPLERS:  Great to Pedal; Swell to Pedal; Swell to Great Octave; Swell to Great Unison.

COMPOSITION PEDALS:  Two acting on Swell and two acting on the Great.

later history: From 1884 we had not found any record of whose care the Organ was in or what was done to it until a tuning book dating from 1956, was found. From 1956 to 1974, the Organ was in the care of Hele and Co. of Plymouth. The Organ was then tuned four times a year. There was an overhaul in about March 1967 and around then, a new pedalboard and balanced Swell Pedal were fitted.

From 1975, the Organ was in the care of Lance Foy of Truro. It was tuned about three times a year until 1980. The Organ was damaged during the Church redecoration in 1982.  In 1986 it was cleaned and overhauled and made more accessible for tuning and repairs, at a cost of £3000.

In 2010 the Organ underwent a major restoration by David Gridley (full details given in the CD mentioned below). 
Some photos are available via our Gallery page.

'Tryptych', a CD of organ recordings, played by Bramwell Bourne on the three mainland organs of The Holy Family Parish churches, including 'St Joseph The Worker' in Hayle, and also 'The Sacred Heart and St. Ia' in St. Ives **, is available price £10 in Penzance or from 'Gaudete', the Choir Association via the parish office. 

** For information on the organ at St. Ives, visit record number N11274 at the National Pipe Organ Register

To be continued.

topDove Bar


Music and Arts Festival held every two years

Parish homepage

update 2023  v 2.15 ~ ê¿ê

Cross icon