Tributes to church organist Edna whose music was her witness

A talented musician who was a church organist for more than 50 years has died after a short illness..

Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 11:03 am
Updated Tuesday, 9th January 2018, 11:05 am
Edna Catlow

Edna Catlow, 82, had carried on playing the organ at Knowle Green Congregational Church until becoming ill last September.

Edna née Askew, was born in Woodplumpton and brought up in Goosnargh where she attended Oliverson’s Primary School.

It was at at Goosnargh Methodist church that she began playing the piano for the Sunday school at the age of 13, progressing to playing the organ for church services at 16.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

She later attended Leyland Secondary modern and excelled at sport.

After attending Preston Technical College to study shorthand she became a secretary.

At 17 she joined the Preston Musical Society as a contralto singer and it was while having a coffee in Preston’s Gaumont Cinema restaurant prior to rehearsals she met her future husband, Lancashire Evening Post photographer Jack .

The couple married in 1958 and had two daughters Sue and Deborah. In 1963 Edna started playing the organ at the Knowle Green church, near Longridge, helping to form its first Sunday school and later, a popular Friday night youth club.

The Ribchester couple later worked together at Miniprints at Knowle Green, where Edna was Sales Secretary.

Their eldest daughter Sue said: “There are so many wonderful memories of our family life. We have been overwhelmed with the sympathy cards and the wonderful messages of support. The main message that keeps cropping up in the cards is ‘She was beautiful inside and out.’”

Edna had chosen the hymns she wanted to be played at her funeral and Jack and the girls also decided to include a recording of Edna herself playing The Dambusters theme tune.

Deborah said: “Her witness was through her music and we wanted music to be a main focus at the funeral.”

Her funeral took place in December. The family said they wished to thank everyone for the generous donations in Edna’s memory. More than £800 will be divided between Knowle Green church, the Ribchester St Wilfrid’s Raise The Roof Appeal and North West Air Ambulance.