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Music Ministry

Music is an important expression of faith in our spiritual life at Hickory Neck.  We use songs from two sources: The Hymnal 1982 and the Hickory Neck Hymnal, a collection of more contemporary spiritual songs used at our 9 a.m. service.  Hickory Neck is blessed with the services of three music-making groups:

Contact:  Sarah Bland

Adult Parish Choir

On the first, third, and fifth Sundays of the month the music at the 9 a.m. service is led by the Parish Choir.  The Parish Choir consists of more than 20 volunteers who are all members of the Hickory Neck community.  Many have little or no formal musical training; music reading is taught and the music sung on Sunday morning is learned in the weekly Wednesday night rehearsals which start punctually at 7:30 p.m.  The musical repertory is some of the formal music of the Episcopal Church as well as more contemporary items.

Contact:  Sarah Bland

Forgiven & Free

Forgiven & Free, known for many years as Hickory Neck’s praise band, this group plays a variety of music, including Anglican and Celtic hymns, gospel, folk, Taize, and contemporary praise songs. Instruments include guitars, recorder, string bass, bodhran, upright dulcimer, musical saw, and bowed psaltry.  Forgiven & Free has a jam session at 7 p.m. on the 2nd & 4th Thursday evenings.  All are welcome to come sing, play, or just listen!

Forgiven & Free will also play at special services throughout the year.

Contacts:  Sue Banks & Phyllis Faas

Choral Scholars

The 11:15 a.m. service features more traditional music than the 9 a.m. service.  During months when The College of William and Mary is in session, musical leadership is provided by the Choral Scholars, an ensemble of eight students from the College.  The Choral Scholars sing more formal repertoire, including music by such composers as Gibbons, Tallis, Farrant, Wood, Vaughan Williams, Byrd, Rutter, and Mozart.

Contact:  Sarah Bland


Acolytes assist the priest during the worship service.  Hickory Neck Church is blessed with several boys and girls who do this important job.  Being an altar server allows the youth of our church to feel like they are an important part of the church community.  Not just a bystander - but actively involved and playing an essential role.

​Contact:  Brian Manning

Altar Guild

The Altar Guild performs many duties in support of our worship services.  Sixteen very dedicated women serve on a rotating basis with a partner.  The Altar Guild is responsible for having the correct seasonal paraments on the altar and in sanctuary, setting the altar for all services, keeping all linens and implements cleaned, and ordering our supplies for the services.  They may be called upon occasionally for special services.

Contacts:  Margene Hartsough

Eucharistic Ministers

Eucharistic Ministers assist the priest at the altar during the service by offering the chalice during communion at one of the three services.

​Contact:  Cleve Corlett

Flower Guild

The beautiful floral arrangements created by the talented and dedicated members of this guild remind us of God's bounty and enhance our worship each week at both the New and Historic Chapels.

 If you would like to dedicate flowers to a loved one or in honor of a milestone in your life, look for the sign-up sheet on the kiosk in the Narthex.

Contact:  Kathryn Bridewell


Have you ever gone to a church where no one said hello or even knew you were there?  That never happens at Hickory Neck, because we're genuinely happy to welcome newcomers.

Each Sunday volunteers stand near the front doors of the church to welcome worshippers, both old-timers and newcomers alike.  They'll give you a warm smile and answer any questions you may have.

​Contact:  Bob Byrd

Heavenly Bread Bakers

Hickory Neck's communion bread is lovingly prepared by a few dedicated parishioners.  If you knead to bake - - uh, that is - - would like to bake communion bread, this is the place for you.

Contact:  Hope Brans


Assigned lay persons read the Old Testament lesson after the Collect, the New Testament lesson after the Psalm, and the Prayers of the People after the Nicene Creed.


The appointed lessons can be found in the weekly bulletin or in the online lectionary.  You'll find a black notebook, containing the Prayers of the People, near the ushers' stand.

Contact:  Hope Brans

Sound / Video

At each service in the New Chapel, one of our Sound/Video volunteers operates the sound system for the priests, lectors, and musicians.  Video recordings are made of the sermons and posted to YouTube, the ePistle, and Facebook.

Contact:  TBD


Ushers serve on Sundays and at special occasions to meet and greet people as they enter the Nave, offer bullitens and assistance in seating.  They also help with offering collection and ushering to Eurcharist.  After the services, ushers pickup bulletins and organize the Hymnals and Prayer Books for the next service.

Contact:  Dave Hartsough