Dear Hymn Society members,
I am very sorry to have to let you know, if you have not already heard, that following a short but aggressive illness, Martin Ellis died on the afternoon of Thursday, 30th January. Although he had been in hospital, he was able to die at home both peacefully and at peace. Martin will have been to many a much valued friend and respected colleague. He was a stalwart of The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, having been a member since the early 1970s and serving on our Executive Committee on a number of occasions. Martin was organist at our Act of Praise in 1986 in Guildford Cathedral marking the 50th Anniversary of the Society, and conductor of the Festival of Hymns in 2006, marking the 70th Anniversary; this was held at St Martin’s, Dorking where Martin was Director of Music and Organist for 28 years, prior to his and Miriam’s retirement to Ipswich, Suffolk. Only this last July, Martin delivered a Sectional at our Canterbury Conference. Martin was also a committed ecumenist and many of us are going to miss his wit, his wisdom and, sometimes, his acerbic observations!
The Service of Thanksgiving, celebrating Martin’s life in its many facets will be held on Saturday 22nd February at 11.00 am at Museum Street Methodist Church, Ipswich. The service will be followed by refreshments at the Arlington Restaurant (which is opposite the Church). Thereafter, Martin’s family and close friends will attend the Burial at All Saints, Waldringfield at 2.30 pm.
If you are hoping to attend and are travelling out of London to Ipswich by train, you should be aware that there is weekend engineering work taking place on the line and the time needed for that part of the journey is likely to be rather longer than usual – approximately 2¼ hours.
As you give thanks for Martin’s life do, please, remember his wife, Miriam, in your prayers.
With very best wishes to you all,
Robert A. Canham
Secretary, The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland