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Church stalwart marks 80 years as member
JOHN Cheverton joined St Peter's Church, Seaview, as a seven-year-old choirboy on Boxing Day, 1941. A mammoth 80 years later and he still worships there.
The faithful church stalwart has also served for an amazing 66 years as PCC secretary and 58 years as the church's organist. Apart from holidays, he has hardly missed a service there since he joined the choir as a child. He was also organist at the neighbouring St Helens Church for several years, and served as choir director in St Peter’s, Seaview.
Back in 2018, he and his wife Molly were among a number of worshippers to receive St Thomas Awards – the annual award given by the Bishop of Portsmouth to faithful churchgoers who have spent years serving their church and local community. Molly had run lunches to link lonely and bereaved people together, had run a youth group, been the mainstay of the Mothers' Union and volunteers for other church events.
The couple also ran a community call system with two-way CB radios, which brought comfort each morning to elderly members of the community for 20 years. Molly sadly died last year.
“I think I must have some built in loyalty that has kept me with the church – but of course it is also that I like doing everything that I do,” said John. “I am not a person who likes to change very much – I was in my job for 43 years.
“My faith is a very strong part of that too. It is what keeps you going on through everything. If we go on holiday and it happens to start on a Sunday it really doesn’t feel right to me – I always feel I should be going to church on a Sunday.”
When John and Molly were married at St Peter’s Church back in 1959, the choir stalls were sparsely filled and there were only two children. John made it his ambition to get a thriving choir back in the church. Initial visits to Nettlestone Primary School involved him recruiting good singers to join the junior choir, and they soon became one of the larger church choirs on the island.
Church Street Seaview, PO34 5EN