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Photo story: Handmaid of the liturgy

28 March 2024

Christine Wells and choristers with the Associate Priest of Hambleden, the Revd Sue Morton; the Archdeacon of Buckingham, the Ven. Guy Elsmore; a Vice-President of the Guild of Church Musicians, June Williams; and the Priest-in-Charge of Hambleden, the Revd Andy Storch

Christine Wells and choristers with the Associate Priest of Hambleden, the Revd Sue Morton; the Archdeacon of Buckingham, the Ven. Guy Elsmore; a Vice...

CHRISTINE WELLS was appointed Organist Emeritus of St Mary the Virgin, Hambleden, in Oxford diocese, on her retirement after more than 67 years as organist and director of music — a post that she took up when she was 20. In 2013, was the recipient of both Maundy Money and a British Empire Medal for services to music and the community. She received a long-service award from the Guild of Church Musicians in 2022 (News, 10 June 2022).

The Priest-in-Charge of Hambleden, the Revd Andy Storch, said: “For 67 years, this group of churches in the Hambleden Valley has been spoiled by having such a committed, caring, and competent musician leading our worship. The choir has loved singing under her excellent leadership, and her ambition and skill have led to various tours and visits to churches and cathedrals here and abroad. She has played at literally thousands of weddings and funerals, too, always learning new pieces, so, however unusual the request, she could play it.”

Mrs Wells studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the University of Durham, is a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists, a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music, and an Associate of the Royal College of Music.

A presentation was made at choral evensong on Palm Sunday by the Archdeacon of Buckinghamshire, the Ven. Guy Elsmore , and a vice-president of the Guild of Church Musicians, June Williams.

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