Organist for St Mary’s Church in Bramford given long service award

Janet and Peter Jackaman.

Janet and Peter Jackaman. - Credit: Archant

A devoted organist has been commemorated by his church for providing 50 years of music.

Peter Jackaman was surprised with a long service award from the diocese at St Mary’s Church, Bramford, and bottle of malt on Sunday.

The 80-year-old said: “It’s been an interesting journey and I shall treasure last weekend for a very long time.”

Learning to play the instrument at St. Mary-le-Tower Church in Ipswich, where he grew up, Mr Jackaman got his first job at 18 years old.

Before settling in Bramford, Mr Jackaman spent time playing at Brantham and Great Blakenham and Baylham churches.

In 1950, Mr Jackaman started his own organ tuning business - Norden Organ Builders - and he still tunes a few pianos now, “when I’m feeling fit”.

For the past 30 years, the musician has played alongside his wife, Janet, who was also given a bouquet of flowers at the celebration on Sunday.

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“She sits near me and sings because she has got a great singing voice,” Mr Jackaman said.

“I have enjoyed so many things over the past 50 years - the different occasions that I have been a part of, with different bishops coming in, the big services like funerals and weddings.”

Mr Jackman, who lives in Bramford, said he hoped to continue to play for as long as he was in good health - refusing to let problems with his eyes hold him back.

Stewart McGinty, a warden at St Mary’s Church, said: “Over the past 50 years Peter has not only played at the church services, but also at weddings, funerals and christenings.

“Over the years he has rarely missed a Sunday and most of his holidays have been taken Monday to Friday.”

Mr Jackaman has seen three vicars come and go during his 50-year post and witnessed a lot of changes in the church, Mr McGinty added.