A former borough church leader has welcomed a musician from Bury to perform with some of Monaco’s best musicians.

Freelance musician Katie Geelan was invited to St Paul’s Anglican Church in Monte Carlo in September, the new residence of Reverend Hugh Bearn, who was previously the vicar at The Parish Church of Saint Ann, Tottington.

Hugh had dedicated 27 years of service to Tottington before his move to Monte Carlo with his wife, Alison, and their children earlier this year.

Bury Times: St Paul's Anglican Church, Monte-Carlo

Katie said: “I was invited to visit by Hugh and Alison to perform music at their new residence, St Paul’s Anglican Church.

“This was an incredible experience and I performed Panis Angelicus, Jesu Joy of man’s desiring, and played with some of Monaco’s best musicians.

“On this occasion I also played Hugh’s great aunts’ violin which is a family heirloom.”

Bury Times: Katie performing

The violin, which is 250-years-old, belonged to Hugh’s aunt who was a professional violinist.

His aunt played in the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and on one particular occasion, she performed for the King of England.

Katie added: “It brought great joy for Hugh to see and hear it being played again.”

During the trip, Katie played a variety of music in the church, including a performance where she stood at the doors and played so music echoed out onto the street.

Bury Times: Katie and Hugh

Speaking about Hugh’s move to the Monte Carlo parish, Katie said: “Hugh, with his infectious personality and gift for bringing a community together, is certainly starting to encourage a healthy congregation in Monaco.

“He is doing this alongside his wife, Alison, who shares the same gifts of showing compassion and empathy to all.

“I’m sure it won’t be long until they have a parish community similar to what they so successfully built at St Anne’s Tottington.

“Many thanks to Hugh and Alison for showing such hospitality, kindness and welcoming us so warmly into their new church community.”