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A County organist has been made an Honorary Member of the Royal School of Church Music (HonRSCM). 

Paul Garrett, pictured after receiving his award at Winchester Cathedral, organist and Choir Director at St Annes Copp Church in Great Eccleston, has been granted the honour in recognition of his leadership of the music at St Anne’s for 45 years; since he was a teenager aged just 17. 

The honour is a rare one ... Paul is one of only two people nationally to become an Honorary Member in the last 12 months. 

During the dark days of the Covid lockdowns, Paul spent around 40 hours a week facilitating remote choir rehearsals and recording hymns and carols. 

Much to the surprise of Paul and the members of St Anne’s Church choir, these videos have now been viewed more than 37,000 times by people local to the church; but also across the UK and even internationally. What's more, the videos are still receiving around 300 further views every month even now.

The Venerable David Picken, Archdeacon of Lancaster, said: "I congratulate Paul on becoming an Honorary Member of the RSCM. This is a richly deserved honour following a lifetime of service and I am delighted he has been singled out in this way. 

"Across our Diocese organists like Paul work hard behind the scenes to ensure services each week are accompanied by music that stirs the soul. Many, like Paul, were also vital in keeping worship going in the days of the pandemic as his story highlights."