AN organist who has been playing since she was seven years old has been thanked at a local chapel for her 85 years of service.

On April 21, the people of St Neot and surrounding areas came together to thank Joycelyn Hocking for her dedication to the methodist chapel over the years.

Taught by her grandmother, Joycelyn first played a hymn at the age of seven in 1938. She was set to take over her grandmothers role as the local organist and soon was on the rota to play once a month.

Additionally, Joycelyn has taught many to play the piano over the years – it was said that a few of her former pupils referred to her patience with them.  

Colin Arthur, deputy director of Loveny Male Voice Choir, said that Joycelyn had inspired a love of music in him – he also paid tribute to her faith, loyalty and sense of duty.

Jocelyn also had experience playing in a variety of choirs including the Plymouth District Girls’ Brigade Choir.

Director of the Plymouth District Girls’ Brigade Choir, Cynthia Thomas, highlighted Joycelyn’s faithful support over the 24 years she played as part of the choir and how she had been a massive help to them.

Another local resident, Gail Dyer, explained how she remembered Joycelyn driving a car full of noisy girls to Plymouth on a weekly basis for practices.  

Joycelyn has performed the organ or piano in more than 50 local chapels, churches and other venues over her many years of service .

As a member of the Liskeard Ladies Choir she has sung or played in several care homes.  

John Trethewey, director of Pelynt Male Voice Choir talked of the time Joycelyn played the organ for Songs of Praise on a windy day on the sea front at East Looe.

During the event, the Reverend, David Hart, presented Joycelyn with a certificate marking her 85 years of service.

He later read out a letter of appreciation from the President of the Methodist Conference.  

Whilst she has helped in various other places, Joycelyn’s loyalty has always been to St Neot playing as often as needed.

However, due to a couple of falls and some time in hospital last year, Joycelyn now only plays occasionally.  

To mark the special occasion, Richard Patt, organist at Sclerder Abbey, beautifully accompanied the wonderful singing of the congregation complemented by the presence of several choir members.

Over Cornish refreshments Joycelyn was able to meet those who had all come to say thank you for her faithful service to the community.  

They included friends who, like her, are now in their 90s.  

It was reported that one local preacher said how she had supported him during his 50 years of ministry.