A Fulham church has celebrated its Director of Music’s 50th anniversary of becoming resident organist, paying tribute to his devotion and loyalty in a special Choral Evensong service.
Born and raised in Fulham, Trevor Dawson was baptised at St Andrew’s Church and began playing the organ at the age of just 14. Being the organist at such a young age meant that he actually played at his own confirmation service.
Trevor has been a pillar of the church and its local community, working alongside seven vicars over the past five decades and instilling a strong musical tradition at the heart of the congregation. In addition to his service as Director of Music, he has also been Church Warden for a number of years.
15 years ago, Trevor started a monthly Choral Evensong at St Andrew’s, drawing on both professional and amateur singers, and in recent years this choir has been invited to sing at various services, including at the cathedral churches of York, Norwich, Chester, Wells, Southwell, Ripon, Bristol, Chichester and Christ Church Oxford. Choir members come from across the country to perform under Trevor’s direction, travelling from the likes of the Midlands and Lincolnshire to sing at Choral Evensong and other special services.
The Bishop of Kensington, Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin, presented to Mr Dawson the St Mellitus Award in recognition of his outstanding service to God and his community, named after St Mellitus, the Bishop who re-founded the Diocese of London in AD 604 after the city reverted to paganism following the Saxon invasions.
“I am enormously grateful to all who worked so hard to make this such a special occasion. It was marvellous to feel so strongly supported by both current and former choir members, and to see so many familiar faces in the congregation from years gone by, many of whom had travelled considerable distances to be present. To receive the St. Mellitus Award is a particular and unexpected honour which leaves me more than a little overwhelmed and humbled.”
The Revd Lesley Bilinda, St Andrew’s Church, said:
“St Andrew’s owes an enormous debt of gratitude to Trevor for these past 50 remarkable years as our organist and more recently as Music Director. It’s not just his musical skills that we appreciate so much, but his ability to draw the best out of people of all abilities, inspiring both excellent quality and also great enjoyment and satisfaction. These qualities, combined with his gentle sense of humour and discreet generosity have endeared him to generations of St Andrew’s parishioners.”