Faithful at the manuals

02 November 2006

THERE must be some connection between faithful churchgoing and longevity, particularly when it comes to the music of worship. Amy Guppy ( second from right) has been playing the organ regularly for 80 years. She started just before her ninth birthday, and the certificate she is holding, and the bouquet that the Revd Judy Hill is about to present to her, mark her 89th birthday.

Though she did not start there, Mrs Guppy has been playing at the Holy Rood, Wool, in Salisbury diocese, for as long as anyone can remember. And, Mrs Hill tells me, the incredible thing is that Mrs Guppy not only still plays there monthly, and also at a neighbouring church, but she is always ready to do funerals and weddings, and sings in local choirs. She is always ready to take part in any church activity.

Holy Rood has not had a stipendiary priest for nearly two years (although they are now interviewing); so Mrs Hill, an ex-nurse and ordained local minister, has been de facto acting as priest-in-charge.

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