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Archbishop honours church musicians

Posted on: May 15, 2014 2:39 PM
Back Row: John Davies, Michael Nicholas, Geoffrey Brookes Front Row: Archbishop Barry, Bernice Jones, Penny Ryan, Tim Pratt, Margaret Jones, Jonathan Lean, the Dean of St Davids.
Photo Credit: Church in Wales
Related Categories: Abp Morgan, musicians, Swansea & Brecon, Wales

The Archbishop of Wales has paid tribute people who dedicate their time to keeping music at the heart of services in churches and chapels across Wales, Sunday after Sunday.

Organists, choral leaders and singers were presented with awards and certificates by the Archbishop, Dr Barry Morgan, at a ceremony at in Swansea recently.

There were  two types of presentations – the Archbishop of Wales’ Award in Church Music, which recognises people of outstanding musical ability who contribute to worship, and the Certificate of Merit which pays tribute to the talents and devoted service of musicians who contribute without being professionally trained. The awards are open to musicians from all denominations of Christian worship.

This year, two people received the Archbishop’s Award and five were presented with the Certificate.

The Archbishop said, "These awards are a way for the wider church to recognize the important part music plays in our worship and to thank those who make it happen. However formally qualified they may be, what they have in common is a commitment and dedication to turn up week after week, year after year. They nurture and encourage an enjoyment of church music , ensuring our wonderful heritage is enjoyed now and passed down to our children.”

The Archbishop of Wales’ Award in Church Music was presented to:

  • Mr Tim Pratt, who has been the Organist and Director of Music at St Mary’s Priory Church, Abergavenny, for the past 20 years. Mr Pratt has been central to the development of the choir to its current high standard, which boasts a membership of 40 choristers, and he has recently launched a scholarship scheme for three young choristers between the ages of 16 and 18. The choir has undertaken several tours to many UK Cathedrals. Mr Pratt also gave distinguished service to the Church as Headmaster of St Teilo Church in Wales High School, Cardiff.
  • Mrs Penny Ryan OBE, Co-Director of Music at All Saints Church, Oystermouth. 

Mrs Ryan received the award for the service which she, with her husband Mr Leslie Ryan, have given to the parish since 2002. Prior to that the couple were both involved with the ministry of music at the Parish of Llwynderw. The Parish of Oystermouth under Mrs Ryan’s direction, has a strong choral tradition, comprising of choristers, choral scholars and adult members. Mrs Ryan also serves as Chair of the Swansea and Brecon RSCM and is a distinguished composer of music. She has worked tirelessly since her appointment in seeking to establish All Saints as a centre for musical excellence, she also serves as Director of the Ariosa Singers.

The Archbishop of Wales’ Certificate of Merit in Church Music was presented to: 

  • Mr Geoffrey Brookes of St Ismael’s, Uzmaston, in recognition of the service he has given asorganist of St Ismael's Church, Uzmaston for the past years 15 years;
  • Mr John Davies of St Mary’s Nolton for his service as organist and choir master in St Mary’s Nolton;
  • Mrs Bernice Jones of St David’s Llwynhendy, for her service as organist for the past 40 years;
  • Mrs Margaret Jones of St Mary’s Haverfordwest.for her service as organist and chorister within the parish for 30 years;
  • Mr Michael Nicholas of St Katharine and St Peter’s Milford Haven, for hi service as organist of the parish for 30 years.

The service took place at All Saints Church, Oystermouth. The preacher was Bishop Tony Pierce, the retired Bishop of Swansea and Brecon.

For more information about the awards, including how to nominate someone for next year, please visit