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Ode to Joy – Crumlin parishioners thank long serving organist

Ode to Joy – Crumlin parishioners thank long serving organist
Joy Elliott at the keyboard during her final service as organist at St Mary’s Church, Crumlin.

This year’s Harvest Thanksgiving Service in St Mary’s Church, Crumlin, marked the end of an era. After 64 years at the keyboard, organist Joy Elliott was retiring. Parishioners gathered to say farewell and to celebrate all she had contributed to the parish.

Joy not only led the music in the church for over six decades and played for parish musicals and dances in times past, she was also a link to the foundation of the new church in Crumlin. The Rector who appointed Joy to her position in 1958 was Canon Walter Burrows, who was the Rector who built St Mary’s Church. “It could well be said that Joy in her music has shaped this church community almost as much as Canon Burrows,” the current Rector, the Revd Ruth Noble stated.

Joy with Daphne Deacon and Ava and the cake baked to mark the occasion.
Joy with Daphne Deacon and Ava and the cake baked to mark the occasion.


Joy began her career as organist at the age of 13. She first played in the Black Church in Dublin and then in Malahide before coming to St Mary’s, Crumlin.

Speaking at the reception following the Harvest Service, Revd Ruth spoke of Joy’s “constant and unflapping service”.

“As the Covid pandemic highlighted so powerfully to us, church without music and real singing is but a pale shadow. In fact we know throughout scripture that music is at the heart of life – right from David as a small boy bringing comfort to King Saul to the scenes of all the creatures and angels and saints singing praise to God in heavenly places,” she said.

The Rector continued: “Joy, as someone who has always played with life and meaning, who has so wisely chosen hymns and encouraged us to sing all sorts of hymns, who has had an uncanny knack of choosing the right hymn even when she didn’t know what the clergy were preaching about. Down to that special touch of the choice of vesper hymn, that last moment of thought and reflection before we head off, so often so fitting.”

She added that Joy had been an honour to have with her at so many moments in the church and paid tribute to her patience. “All any of us can say is, Thank you Joy,” she concluded. To mark the occasion Joy planted a rose in the church garden. There was a special cake based on Joy’s favourite hymn, baked by Daphne Deacon and Ava, and the choir composed a hymn for the day entitled Ode to Joy.


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