Chartered Legal Executive Stephen Carey may be bidding farewell to colleagues at Jones & Co Solicitors this month, but he will continue to be active in the Bassetlaw community as an organist for local churches and choirs.
Stephen, who has lived in Retford all his life, qualified in 1978 and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives. He has specialised in wills, trusts and probate work for over 40 years, with the last eight years working at Jones & Co Solicitors.
Stephen said: “I consider myself lucky to have enjoyed a career with several well-respected regional law firms, including Jones & So Solicitors. Over the last 51 years I have worked with thousands of clients, and it has been a real privilege in recent years to deal with the second and third generations of clients I acted for in the early stages of my career.
As an accomplished amateur musician, Stephen is accompanist for the Cantate Choir in Retford and assistant accompanist for Thurnscoe Harmonic Male Voice Choir near Barnsley. He is organist of St John’s Church Scofton, near Worksop, and regularly plays in several other churches.
Stephen said: “I first became interested in music aged 10 and learned to read music while taking violin lessons at secondary school. I taught myself to play my grandmother’s piano, which developed into playing the church organ. I had organ lessons from the organist at East Retford Parish Church and later at Southwell Minster and Chester Cathedral.
"At 16 I became the organist at Clarborough Church and then organist and choirmaster at St Albans Church for 29 years until the Church closed.
"As a teenager I accompanied local choirs in such major works as the Faure’s Requiem and Handel’s Messiah and later Stainer’s Crucifixion and Mendelssohn’s Elijah. I have played for Evensong in Southwell Minster and Clumber Chapel.
“In 1993 I was invited to stand in, at three weeks’ notice, as accompanist of Retford Male Voice Choir for a concert tour in Germany and afterwards I became permanent accompanist for the choir for the next 25 years until the choir folded.
“To celebrate my 65th birthday, Ann and our daughter Helen arranged for me to have private sessions playing the organs at York Minster and St Paul’s Cathedral. These were both unforgettable experiences. They have now arranged for a similar experience at Westminster Abbey for my forthcoming 70th birthday.
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“I have also been playing the organ for weddings and funerals in the area since I was 14 years old. I have taken part in two Organ Marathons on the organ at Chester Cathedral, helping to raise funds for the proposed rebuilding of the cathedral organ.”
Philip Armstrong, Partner, Jones & Co Solicitors and Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate, said: “As a highly valued member of the Jones & Co team for the last eight years, Stephen has made a huge contribution. I and all his colleagues are sad to see him go, and he will be missed. However, we are sure he will be busier than ever in the months to come, so we wish him a very happy and thriving retirement.”