John Whybrow RIP – organist at Barlborough church for 55 years

John Whybrow RIP – organist at Barlborough church for 55 years

The funeral of our beloved organist at Barlborough Church, John Whybrow, took place today. It was a simple service according to the Book of Common Prayer at John’s request and was attended by family only (because of current restrictions). Thank you to those from our church family who clapped his hearse as it travelled to Clowne Cemetery. Thank you also to Rhys Williams for playing the organ and playing John’s favourite, Guide me O thou great Redeemer.

John died on 10th July 2020. I was able to go and pray with him at the care home that he had recently moved to and even sang a verse of Guide me O thou Great Redeemer (his favourite hymn) to him. He prayed Psalm 121 with me (he knew the words by heart) and the Lord’s prayer. Later that day he died peacefully with his sons around him. 

John was our organist at Barlborough for 55 years. Church will not be the same without him! He will be sorely missed.

Given the current restrictions on public gatherings I would like us to have a big memorial service full of music for him next year and thereafter have an annual music concert in John’s memory. We will also dedicate the new Rector’s Board we are having made at the moment in memory of both John and his wife Ruth for their service to our church over so many years. 

I’m sure every time we sing the Gloria to the Cwm Rhondda tune we will remember John and the glissando he liked to play on it! John has left an indelible mark on our church community, he will never be forgotten. May he rest in peace and rise in glory!

Every blessing,

Rev’d Bryony Taylor, Rector of Barlborough and Clowne

Psalm 121: 

I WILL lift up mine eyes unto the hills : from whence cometh my help.

2 My help cometh even from the Lord : who hath made heaven and earth.

3 He will not suffer thy foot to be moved : and he that keepeth thee will not sleep.

4 Behold, he that keepeth Israel : shall neither slumber nor sleep.

5 The Lord himself is thy keeper : the Lord is thy defence upon thy right hand;

6 So that the sun shall not burn thee by day : neither the moon by night.

7 The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil : yea, it is even he that shall keep thy soul.

8 The Lord shall preserve thy going out, and thy coming in : from this time forth for evermore.


  1. Eric Hall

    Farewell, thou good and faithful servant!
    Although originally from Clowne, I became good friends with John, singing together, or me singing whilst John played.
    He will be sadly missed in both churches
    Eric Hall.

  2. Rev. Judy Henderson Smith

    Thank you for these tributes to both John and David Hull who were a tremendous help to me in my ministry, and to the churches at Ault Hucknall and Scarcliffe during their vacancy.

  3. David Cully

    I have just recently heard of the sad news of John’s passing. I served with John at St James, Barlborough some years ago. Rest In Peace

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