People who have kept music at the heart of church services, Sunday after Sunday, for several decades, have been honoured.
Three organists and a chorister, who have each given years of unstinting service to their churches, were presented with certificates by the Archbishop of Wales at a special service at Brecon Cathedral last weekend.
They received the Archbishop of Wales’ Certificate of Merit in Church Music which pays tribute to the talents and faithful service of musicians who are not professionally trained.
The Archbishop, John Davies, said the awards were a way for the wider church to recognise the important part music played in worship and to thank those who made it happen.
He said, “Music has long been part of worship in a multitude of religious traditions, and its part in the Christian tradition is utterly central. Down the centuries, world-renowned composers have set to music the words of the Mass, and the responses and canticles from Morning and Evening Prayer. Simpler musical settings of these familiar words have been part of the staple diet for many congregations and choirs in many of our churches for generations. Today, we see all of these examples sitting alongside the use of more contemporary worship-songs, chants and choruses.
“Good music has the capacity to greatly enhance worship, and being able, through these awards, to recognise the gifts, the goodwill and the commitment of those who work tirelessly and faithfully to provide it is always a welcome opportunity.”
This year’s recipients were:
Eileen Thomas, who has been the organist at SS Jeffrey and Oswald Church, Jeffreyston, for 46 years.
Anne Griffiths, organist and choir leader at St Agnes’ Church, Port Talbot, for 30 years.
Diane Campbell, organist at St Mary’s Church, Burton, for 51 years.
Jane Mullins, chorister at St Michael and All Angels church, Maesteg for 52 years and head chorister for the past 42 years.
The group photo shows, from left: Jane Mullins, Anne Griffiths, Archbishop John, Eileen Thomas and Diane Campbell
There are two strands of music awards which are open to people from all denominations of churches and chapels.
The Archbishop of Wales Award in Church Music (AWACM): for those at senior and professional level who are organists and choir-trainers. It aims to encourage and recognise the work of those achieving exceptional standards in church music, and who have devoted a significant amount of their time serving within Wales.
Certificate of Merit: for those who have given good and faithful service in the field of church music throughout the churches and chapels of Wales.
To find out more or to nominate someone email the Secretary, John Davies, tel 02920 348200
You can download the nomination forms here