On Saturday November 1st, a delightful evening was arranged to celebrate the re-building of the church organ,  as well as to commemorate the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas.  The little church of Huntington, was once again packed for the final event of the ‘Friends of St. Thomas a Becket’ programme for 2014.

This time, the church’s organist, Stephen Gilling, who has been playing here for 52 years, had the pleasure of playing the organ with new configurations of stops and sounds, made possible following its re-build by the Nicholson-trained organist, Peter Hughes, who also played his pieces.  This was the result of a generous legacy from the late Mrs. Dorothy Jack, whose family lived at The Court for 57 years. 

Stephen began the evening by playing the stirring organ sounds of ‘Fanfare for the Common Man’, by Aaron Copland.  Allan Lloyd entertained us with his wonderful readings by Dylan Thomas and Mai Jones, from Norton Canon, a former actress, read ‘Fern Hill’ and ‘Christmas Memories’ with great feeling, also by Dylan Thomas. 

A very lively party took place in the interval, when hot punch and copious canapés, donated by village residents were offered in a heated marquee outside the church.

It was a wet and windy night, but the ‘roof came off the church’, when Stuart Brain (trumpet), Ann James (clavinova) and Stephen Gilling played ‘The Holy City’.  It was a highspot of the concert.

Bob and Elizabeth Jack returned to hear a moving tribute by Geoffrey Treasure to Dorothy and Bill Jack and a plaque was unveiled by Mrs. Jack’s friend of many years, Sheila Griffiths.  The evening ended with Allan Lloyd leading us into the singing of Dylan Thomas’s Benediction from the Rev. Eli Jenkins’ prayer.

Many comments were heard at the end of the concert, “I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!”  “A truly wonderful, uplifting evening”, “What incredible talent we have in Herefordshire!” were some of the many compliments the performers received.