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Music Ministry

Music is an important expression of faith in our spiritual life at Hickory Neck.  We sing hymns from The Hymnal 1982 and more contemporary music from a number of sources including the fully licensed Hickory Neck Hymnal, a collection of praise songs, gospel music and contemporary hymns used at our 9:00 a.m. service.  Hickory Neck is blessed with the services of three music-making groups.

Note: Since mid-March when the Diocese of Southern Virginia closed public worship, Hickory Neck has been livestreaming Sunday services at 9:00 a.m. on our Facebook page.  Musically these services are led by our organist, Sarah Ford Bland, and two Choral Scholars from the College of William and Mary.  During this period the Parish Choir has had weekly “practices” on Zoom where we laugh through some group warmups, then check in with each other.  Often there is a church music topic for conversation focus.

Contact: Sarah Bland

Adult Parish Choir

The music at the 9:00 a.m. service is a blend of traditional and contemporary and led most weeks by the Parish Choir.  The Parish Choir consists of more than 20 volunteers who are all members of the Hickory Neck community.  Many have an extensive choral music background.  Others have little, if any, musical training.  The music repertoire is largely contemporary but includes some of the formal music of the Episcopal Church as well.   

Contact:  Sarah Bland

Forgiven & Free

Forgiven & Free, known for many years as Hickory Neck’s praise band, plays a variety of music, including Anglican and Celtic hymns, gospel, folk, Taize, and contemporary praise songs. Instruments include guitar, recorder, musical saw, and flute.  Forgiven & Free has a jam session at 7:00 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 is a traditional sung Eucharist.  During months when The College of William and Mary is in session, music 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, Bach, Handel, Vaughan William and Rutter.

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 will give you a warm smile and answer any questions you may have.

For our Socially Distanced services, greeters will be seated just inside the New Chapel door to check in those who have registered to attend.

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: Rebecca Zoellner


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:  Rebecca Zoellner

Sound / Video

The 10:00am service in the New Chapel is streamed on Youtube and Facebook. One of our Sound/Video volunteers operates the sound system for the priests, lectors, and musicians. 

Contact:  David Simmons


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

During our socially-distanced services, one usher will greet people outside and ensure that they are wearing a mask and social distancing.  The other usher will meet people inside and escort them to designated seating.  No bulletins, hymnals or prayer books will be used for these services.

Contact: Dave Hartsough