St Ives Parish Church — St Ia — has welcomed Jeffery Williams as its new regular organist.
Jeffrey (pictured) grew up in Camborne and attended Redruth Grammar School. His first organ lessons were at Camborne Centenary and St Mary’s, Penzance.
After four years at university, he settled in Hampshire with Diane, his wife, and lived there for 40 years, combining a successful career in music education with that of a church musician. Much of Jeffrey’s organ and church music was centred around Romsey Abbey, where he was for 22 years, establishing one of the largest and most successful all-male church choirs in the south of England. During this time, Diane founded the Abbey Girls’ Choir.
Romsey Abbey possesses a very fine and historically significant organ, built in 1858 by J W Walker, and Jeffrey was instrumental in bringing about a scheme of work to restore the organ and to commission a nave organ from the firm’s present-day successors.
Since leaving teaching and regular church work some years ago, Jeffrey has travelled extensively as a music examiner and adjudicator, not just in the UK, but around the world, in countries as diverse as New Zealand and India.
Wealth of knowledge
In 2021, a long-held ambition to come back to Cornwall was realised, and Jeffrey and Diane have now settled on the outskirts of Camborne.
“I am delighted to have found a church post at St Ia’s so soon after moving back to the county,” Jeffrey said. “The organ at St Ia’s is one of the finest in the county and deserves to be more widely known and promoted, which I look forward to doing, in addition to playing it for its primary function, to lead and enhance the worship in our beautiful parish church.”
Jo Grant, music dministrator at St Ia, said: “We’re thrilled that Jeffrey has joined us here at St Ia. He’s got such a vast wealth of knowledge about the organ and choral music, and he’s going to be a real asset to our music team.
“He’s a top bloke, too, and he’s already been making us smile. I really look forward to seeing what the future has in store for the musical life of our lovely church.”