John Hudson: Dedicated to promoting music in Norfolk’s churches

For almost half a century, John Hudson, who has died aged 72 peacefully at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, dedicated his life to promoting music in churches.

He became secretary to the Norfolk committee of The Royal School of Church Music, which supports and offers training to more than 8,500 groups, individuals and places of worship around the world.

A nomination to recognise his efforts for the RSCM's work in promoting music in churches over six decades had been planned. He received a 40-year award in 2001.

John Raymond Hudson, who was born at King's Lynn Hospital, went to school at Swaffham and Wymondham, where his father was the public health inspector. He completed his studies as a full-time student at Norwich City College.

There was always music in the family home as his parents played the piano. His father was also an organist but insisted that his oldest son had formal lessons from Dr Bryan Hesford, then resident at Wymondham Abbey until 1960 and later at Newcastle and Brecon Cathedral.

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His first post was choirmaster at Morley, near Wymondham, where he was responsible for the 20-strong choir including a number of boys from Norfolk County Council's then residential home at Morley Hall. One of his choristers won a music scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, which was quite a feat.

He became secretary to the RSCM's Norfolk arm, having become one of the last intakes to complete National Service. He signed up for three years in the Royal Air Force and was promoted corporal but never left home shores much to his regret.

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After 14 years, he became organist and choirmaster at St Peter's Easton and St Andrew's, Colton, where he stayed for six years. Then he became a server and occasional reader at Norwich Cathedral, where he helped with a range of posts.

A keen supporter of the Friends of Norwich Cathedral, he was one of the team of volunteer guides. A long-standing member of Norfolk Organists' Association, he would often provide holiday cover at local churches and also played at the Great Hospital's chapel.

He had joined British Railways and was based at Norwich's Thorpe Station. When the Red Star parcel division was closed, he took early retirement and then became a part-time usher at the County Court.

He leaves a younger brother, Michael, and was uncle to Clare and Andrew.

A funeral service will be held at Norwich Cathedral on Friday, August 19 at 1.30pm. Michael Pollitt

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