About the Society

The South Wessex Organ Society is a newly registered Charity and the successor to the well-established Lyme Regis Organ School. The Society has access to the beautiful Skrabl organ in St Michael’s Church, Lyme Regis with its 50 rank three manual mechanical action, and to many other fine organs in Devon and Dorset.  It exists to encourage organ playing and the appreciation of the organ’s place in the musical repertoire.

The Society’s purpose is realised through recitals, concerts, and Organ Schools and by encouraging young organists on their journey.

Chairman – Philip Sturrock MBE

Philip Sturrock was born in Lancashire and has lived in the West Midlands, St
Albans, London and now in Bridport, Dorset. He read Modern History at Oxford
and has an MBA from the Manchester Business School.

Mr Sturrock’s professional career has been in book publishing. He has been CEO
of IBIS information Services, Pitman Books, Routledge, Cassell and Continuum. In
1994 he led the IPO of Cassell on the London Stock Exchange before selling it to
Hachette in 1998.

Following his publishing career he has been Chair of the United St Saviour’s
Charity in Southwark, Chair of the Wandle Housing Association and Chair of
Governors at Queen Mary’s Grammar School in Walsall. In addition he has been a
member of the Industrial Development Advisory Board at the Department of
Business and the Investment Panel of the British Business Bank. He is a Trustee
of the Southwark Cathedral Development Fund and a member of the Salisbury
Diocese Investment Panel. He is currently Treasurer of University College
London and a member of its governing Council.

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours of 2014 he was appointed MBE for “services to
business, charity and community in SE London.” He is married to Madeleine
(Mandi) and has three married children.

Artistic Director – Peter Parshall

Peter is Director of Music at Axminster Parish Church, Director of the Axminster and District Choral Society, Axminster Chamber Choir, Yeovil Chamber Choir and Accompanist to Bridport Choral Society. He is a member of the Royal School of Church Music’s education team and has recently become Artistic Director of the new South Wessex Organ Society. He was Organ Scholar of Westminster College, Oxford and studied the organ with David Saint at the Birmingham Conservatoire. Having held church and cathedral posts in Oxford and Dublin, he now works as a freelance accompanist, conductor and teacher of organ and piano. He is the co-editor of the choral anthology, Weddings for Choirs, published by Oxford University Press, and a contributor to the New Dictionary of National Biography.