A DEVOTED musician is celebrating 40 years as a church organist.

Kathryn Holmes, 56, has been music director at St John’s Church in Sandiway for almost 20 years but 2010 marks four decades playing to congregations across the globe.

Kathryn, of Weaverham Road, Sandiway, earned her first role playing the organ at the age of 16 and has since played in churches based in Selby, Dublin and Nairobi, Kenya.

But having settled at St John’s, she is determined to continue making music and serving the community.

“We are very lucky that St John’s supports such a wide variety of service and therefore the music that goes with it,” she said.

“As long as the church continues to be enthusiastic about choral and organ music then I want to be part of it.

“The organ at St John’s was built in 1903 so it certainly wasn’t built for comfort and I am tucked away a bit but it suits me as I am happy to be out of sight.

“It is a huge commitment as I am playing every Thursday for practice and every weekend so you have to be community spirited but I am very lucky at St John’s because we have a fantastic church choir and the acoustics are good.”

Kathryn is eager to keep music at the heart of the church community and has planned a packed calendar of events for St John’s this year including performances by Welsh male voice choirs, Chetham’s School of Music and emerging violinist Sophie Rosa.

More recently she led a Music and Munch event to raise £585 for those affected by the Haiti earthquake disaster.

And in April, there are plans to hold a similar event to raise funds for Christian Aid.