Church organist celebrates 65 years of service

13th May 2022

 

Kathleen Dando started playing the organ at St Peter’s, Camerton in 1957 when she was just 14 years old and has been faithfully helping to lead worship in Church for the past sixty-five years.

Little did Kathleen know when she started that she would still be playing more than six decades later. Being the church organist has been a huge part of Kathleen's life and was even instrumental in Kathleen meeting her husband as she was the organist when he joined the choir. Rev. Tony Roake Associate Priest Benefice of Timsbury, Priston, Camerton & Dunkerton said of Kathleen, 'Kathleen is not simply someone who fulfils a function by playing the organ in church; she plays as an act of love for God and His people.'

Kathleen was first asked to play at a service when the then organist, her older sister, fell ill. She stepped in to help out and hasn’t looked back since. The organ at St Peter’s which has 900 pipes, was donated to the church in 1892 by the Jarrett family who built for their daughters. Kathleen said “It’s sad because one of the young girls only played it for a year before she died, I have had 65 years of pleasure playing it.”

To mark her remarkable milestone and to thank her for her tireless service the Church congregation, her family and friends, surprised her with, a letter of congratulation from Bishop Ruth, a commemorative plaque and flowers. She said ‘I couldn’t believe there were so many people keeping a secret from me for so long. I can’t thank them enough for making my 65th anniversary of playing the organ at St. Peter’s so special.”

Kathleen cuts her celebratory cake