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Songs of Praise, 30th September 2012, in Thanksgiving & Recognition of Mr Albert Merton Purslow’s  50 years’ service as organist, St Thomas’ Church

Albert Merton PurslowSt Thomas’ Church, Penycae, was filled with the sound of raised voices on the afternoon of Sunday 30th September – however, the voices were raised in songs of praise, and not in anger, as the parish celebrated Mr Merton Purslow’s fifty years’ service as Organist at St Thomas’.

It was a very special occasion, with local organisations, as well as members of the church and fellow parishioners represented in the congregation.  The Bishop of the St. Asaph Diocese, the Rt Revd Gregory Cameron, was represented at the service by the Archdeacon of Wrexham, the Ven. Shirley Griffiths, who presented Merton with a framed Certificate from the Diocese and a letter from the Bishop, thanking him for his many years’ service; the Area Dean for the Dee Valley Deanery, the Rev David Child, led the prayers, and on behalf of the St Thomas’ Church, the vicar, the Rev Jackie Carter gave Merton a gift from the parish as a token of appreciation.  Merton’s wife, Marion, was presented with flowers on behalf of everyone, as a small “thank-you” for the support she has given through the years, both to Merton and to the parish.

Accompanied on this occasion by Mr David Scott from St Mary’s, who kindly played the organ so that Merton could relax on his special day, the joint choir of St Thomas’ and St Mary’s, Johnstown, led the singing – all the hymns chosen by Merton and introduced by different members of the church. 

During the service Merton spoke movingly to everyone about his faith and his lifetime involvement with the church, and it was good to see so many members of Merton’s family there to share in this momentous occasion.  While the final hymn was being sung, a collection was taken in aid of Nightingale House, the charity chosen by Merton, and a sum of over £130 was raised.

Merton's celebration serviceMerton's Celebration Service

Following the service, everyone was warmly invited to transfer to St Thomas Village Hall, where a delicious tea had been prepared by members of the PCC and the conversation, laughter, friendship and fellowship seen there made the perfect end to a very happy occasion.

Thank you, Merton, for all your years of service – a wonderful example to all, and very much appreciated.