'Gregarious' Sidbury musician to be remembered in memorial service

PUBLISHED: 08:00 06 April 2019 | UPDATED: 21:10 06 April 2019

Sidbury will remember Jean Churchill at a memorial service on April 13. Picture: Nicky Churchill

Sidbury will remember Jean Churchill at a memorial service on April 13. Picture: Nicky Churchill

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A formidable campaigner and talented musician will be remembered at a memorial service in Sidbury church.

Friends of Jean Churchill will turn out to the service at St Giles’ Church on Saturday, April 13 following her death last November aged 90.

Mrs Churchill, who was known professionally as Jean Trevelyan, came to live in the village in 1981 with her husband Jack after retiring from Ottawa, Canada.

The couple were renowned for their ‘great musical partnership’ working together through the years including St Martins in the Fields, London, as master of music and a sub-organist.

They moved across to Canada in 1967 after Mr Churchill helped to set up the music department at Carleton University, Ottawa. Mrs Churchill taught harmonies and compositions.

Upon moving to Sidbury, they threw themselves into musical life in the village until Mr Churchill’s death in 1996.

Mrs Churchill continued to perform, playing the church organ, accompanying at the village panto and organising annual music festivals.

She moved away in 2012 to be near her children and died on November 16 in Newport, close to her daughter Nicky.

Friend Keith Dawson said: “In Sidbury, the couple threw themselves into the musical life of the village, working closely together for 15 years, until Jack’s untimely death in 1996. Jean then continued to be the inspiration of the music of the village until she left to be near to her son, Pete Churchill, in 2012 – a remarkable 31 years of inspirational service.

“Jean was a supremely talented musician who was happy to be involved in all sorts of musical activities: playing the organ in the church, getting involved in the village pantos, and organising annual music festivals drawing on contacts from her years working in London. Her son and jazz musician, Pete, played on many occasions in Sidbury over the years. Jean was also a formidable campaigner who led a brilliant campaign for funds to complete a full rebuild of the unique organ at St Giles’. She was generous-hearted, gregarious and much-loved. There was a big hole at the heart of the village when she left in 2012 but she is remembered with affection and gratitude by all who knew her.”

The service on April 13 will begin at 2.30pm.

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