to John Bettley as he takes up his new appointment in Bristol.
and Pictures by Ken Amery
Over 100 parishioners were in
the Vicarage garden on Sunday 4th September to bid a fond farewell
to John Bettley and to wish him well in his new position as
Director of Music at Bristol Choir School.
This was a very informal goodbye
and the weather befitted the occasion with the sun shining
There was a short speech from
George Repath who recounted his first meeting with John and
how they had got on extremely well since that occasion. He
thanked John for his outstanding contribution to the musical
life of the St Michael’s. He presented John with a cheque
from the parishioners; the choir had made their own collection,
which had gone towards a meal at the Waterside Inn.
In reply John took the vicar
to task. He had assumed that there would be some sort of speech
required from him at this event, which he had started to write
during the morning’s sermon, however the sermon had been
unusually short which meant that he had not had time to finish
it! In spite of this, the failure did not seem to hamper him
too much! He thanked George the choir, both collectively and
individually, and both the present and past choir masters for
all the work that they had done during his past eleven years
After the speeches, many of the
parishioners took the opportunity to individually wish John
and his wife Judith all the best for the future.
John leaves St Michael’s
with memories of a rich legacy of musicianship, with some very
personal touches. Was that ‘Auld Lang Syne’ that
kept popping up during the organ intro to the morning service?
John and Judith left, hopefully
with many good memories of
St. Michael’s. They were off, straight to Bristol. At nine
o’clock the following morning he was due to play the organ
in Bristol Cathedral for the first time for morning assembly. A daunting
prospect for most of us, but one, which we are sure, John will take
in his stride.
extract from a letter written by John Bettley on
May I once again thank you, the Parochial Church Council and the
congregation for the very generous donation which you presented yesterday.
I was taken aback by the magnitude of the sum, and by the kindness
of such a wide range of the congregation.
As you know, I will always remember your friendship and hospitality
and in particular the occasion which you arranged after the Sunday Eucharist.....
Countless thanks to Vivian and yourself, and best wishes for your