Friday, 20 March 2015
He played the commas!
Whilst away I heard the sad news that Eric, AFC's organist for the last twenty five years (and Kenton URC's organist for twenty five years before that) has died. Our loving thoughts and prayers go out to Eric's family.
Eric was such a big part of our life together at Amersham and every service owed so much to him with his choice of music and the empathetic way he played the hymns. I have a private little benchmark in my mind when it comes to organists - and if they play the commas - that is make a short break in the music at that point, then I know they are reading the words as well as playing the notes - and it makes a world of difference. Eric was a comma reader!
So often his voluntaries would suit the mood of the day. When I preached 'with a view' he played 'Nearer my God to thee' because it was the centenary that Sunday of the sinking of the Titanic! When a friend of mine from Florida was visiting he weaved in the American National Anthem throughout the offering!
Eric was one of the best 'friends' that AFC or any church could have wished for and he was such a humble, co-operative and gifted organists to have around - we have been so very fortunate!
He last played for us on Christmas Day morning.
I visited him just days before flying off to Thailand and it was clear he was very poorly. This Sunday Sara Autton, who worked alongside him for so many years as choir mistress will say a few words and we'll place a red rose on the organ console - in memory of the man who played the commas because for him playing the organ was his way of worshipping God.
Eric, our much loved friend - may you rest in peace and rise in glory and may the music of heaven be greatly enhanced by your presence amongst the angels.
All good wishes,
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