Two organists from St Davids Diocese have been recognised for their contributions to church music in the latest round of Archbishop’s Church Music Awards.
Eileen Thomas (pictured left) has been the organist at SS Jeffrey and Oswald Church, Jeffreyston, for 46 years; Diane Campbell (pictured right) has played at St Mary’s Church, Burton, for 51 years.
Both 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.
Presenting the awards, 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.”
There are three 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.
Honorary Award: for those with professional training making strides in church music not only locally but also in the wider aspects of church music in the UK and abroad.
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.