SINGERS, musicians and guests raised the roof of a Holmes Chapel church on June 7.

St Luke’s Church hosted a special concert to raise money for its Church Roof Appeal, and to celebrate Christine Jones, who is retiring after 70 years as a church organist.

The 83-year-old, who made her debut at the Methodist Church in Keyingham on the Sunday after D-Day, has played the church organ wherever she has lived and for the last 24 years, has been the organist at St Luke’s.

On Saturday evening, as well as Christine and St Luke’s own choir, there were performances by soprano Denise Leigh, classic accordionist Stefan Andrusyschyn, trumpeter Laurel Newnes, baritone Sam Jackson and Crewe Male Voice Choir - all of whom have a special connection to Christine.

The following day, on Sunday June 8, Christine played her last service as St Luke’s organist.

After the service, the congregation joined Christine and her family in the church hall where the Vicar at St Luke’s, Reverend Paul Mason, spoke of Christine’s dedication to the role.

When he asked her what she would like as a lasting reminder of her time as organist, Christine said that she would love to have ‘a night at the opera’ at the Royal Opera House in London and Rev Mason presented her with a cheque to enable her to achieve her wish.

Christine then cut a celebration cake decorated by one of her grandchildren to represent Christine sitting at the organ.

Wendy MacDonald succeeds Christine as Director of Music at St Luke’s.