St John the Baptist Parish Church in Clowne is having a special celebration this Sunday 27th June for their Patronal Festival. Mr Arthur Stamper, the church’s organist of 60 years (whose father was organist before him) is retiring. Given that there’s been a Stamper playing our organ for almost 100 years, the church is marking this by dedicating the organ as ‘The Stamper Organ’ and presenting Arthur with a long service medal from the Royal School of Church Music.
Arthur said “I’ve been going to church since I was a baby – I was taken in a carry cot to Evensong – so the music of the church is in my blood. I’ve been there my whole life, now I’m part of the furniture really!”
Rector, Rev’d Bryony Taylor said “Arthur has been a core part of the worshipping life of our church for more than 60 years. He has played at many peoples’ weddings, christenings and funerals and has seen much change over the years. Although he is retiring from playing regularly, he will always be our organist and we are tremendously grateful for a lifetime of faithful service.”
As we are currently unable to sing together inside church, the congregation will gather outside after the service on Sunday to sing in the open air to celebrate both Arthur’s ministry as organist and to welcome our new curate to the village. The service will take place at 10.00am on Sunday 27th June and will be livestreamed on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/stjohnthebaptistclowne/live. At the same service the parish will also be welcoming our very first curate (assistant trainee minister) Rev’d Mike Fitzsimmons who will be ordained on Saturday 26th June at Derby Cathedral.