Or­gan­ists cel­e­brates 60 years at church

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

A CHURCH or­gan­ist who has played thou­sands of ser­vices over 60 years is be­ing hon­oured by his com­mu­nity.

John Camp­bell-Kelly, 88, started play­ing the or­gan in Sut­ton St James’ Church in 1957.

Since then, apart from hol­i­days, John has sat at the or­gan for ev­ery Sun­day ser­vice - in the morn­ing and evening - as well as mid-week ser­vices when nec­es­sary.

He has also played for wed­dings and fu­ner­als, scout and guide pa­rades, na­tiv­ity plays and other events which have needed an or­gan ac­com­pa­ni­ment.

Now, 60 years since he be­gan, the Sut­ton com­mu­nity is hold­ing a cel­e­bra­tion to mark the spe­cial an­niver­sary.

Sut­ton St James’ Choir is or­gan­is­ing a cel­e­bra­tion party af­ter the morn­ing ser­vice this Sun­day (May 7) for the parish­ioners in the church hall.

John, of Hollingsworth Lane Sut­ton, said: “Sut­ton is a won­der­ful place to live, par­tic­u­larly with the ac­cess to the coun­try­side and I love the com­mu­nity here. I have two peo­ple who help me to play the or­gan at the ser­vices in church but I play as much as I can.

“I know there is a cel­e­bra­tion be­ing planned for my 60th an­niver­sary and I don’t know ev­ery­thing that’s go­ing on, so it will be a bit of a sur­prise. I don’t need all the fuss re­ally, I’ve al­ways en­joyed play­ing the or­gan over the years and in­tend to keep play­ing.”

John was born in West Park hospi­tal when his par­ents lived in Rainow and he grew up in Mac­cles­field. He was mar­ried to Mar­garet who died 10 years ago and they have three sons Paul, Ian and Peter. Paul died a year ago. John has five grand­chil­dren and is also a founder of Mac­cles­field con­cert band and choir King Edward Mu­si­cal So­ci­ety (KEMS).

At this week­end’s ser­vice John will per­form mu­sic that he wants to play as well as the usual hymns.

San­dra Moss, of Hall Lane, John’s friend and church-goer, said: “We are hop­ing to sing some of the mu­sic he’s com­posed too.

“John doesn’t just play the or­gan. He can play the pi­ano and tuba and he’s in­volved in so many com­mu­nity events.

“He’s jovial and friendly and we’re very lucky to have him. This is a big land­mark in the church’s and John’s life. Not many peo­ple have ever achieved such a re­mark­able land­mark. The whole church fam­ily feels in­cred­i­bly proud of him.”

John Camp­bell-Kelly has been play­ing the or­gan at Sut­ton St James for 60 years

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