Tribute paid to popular church and music stalwart

SENT IN - Edith Ferguson lunch
SENT IN - Edith Ferguson lunch

EDITH Ferguson, who served for more than 50 years as organist at Burnhead Parish Church, has died at the age of 77 following a long illness leaving a large gap in the life of church and community in Lanarkshire.

Born in St John’s Town of Dalry near Galloway Forest Park she received her secondary education at Hamilton Academy, where she furthered her musical prowess, before proceeding to the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Inheriting natural musical talent from her parents, she excelled in performing traditional Scots songs to the delight of many listeners.

Miss Ferguson devoted her life to teaching piano to pupils of all ages, many of whom pursued careers in music, including Patrick Doyle, renowned composer and close friend.

She also taught singing and founded the Ferguson Choral Ensemble for women which delighted audiences in the county and further afield.

In addition to performing in local churches, over the past 20 years the ensemble twice shared in carol services at Liverpool Cathedral, in association with Classic FM.

Linking with St Petersburg Band and Brass Quintet the group established an annual fixture in St Bride’s Church, Bothwell, to great acclaim.

Miss Ferguson’s devotion to church and to church music found a ready outlet in Burnhead Parish Church.

For 56 years she acted as church organist and director of music, training junior and senior choirs and taking a lead role in the congregation’s musical endeavours in promoting kirk soirees and pantomimes, for which the Rev Dick Fishwick was librettist.

She also served the church for many years as an elder.