Christine Best BA Cert Ed. A Cert CM, WMVC Musical Director 1985 - 2012
Christine Best died on Tuesday 2 October 2012, after a year-long fight with cancer. She had been re-admitted to St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey a few days before and passed away peacefully in her sleep.
The Funeral Service was held on 14th October 2012, pictures of which can be viewed here
A full transcript of the eulogy delivered by Guy Beringer can be downloaded here: Christine-eulogy.doc
Christine Best had been a well known and loved figure in the musical life of Weybridge and the surrounding area for many years.
She attended Woking Grammar School and later went on to Whitelands College of Education to study English and Drama. Here she also became part of the musical life of the college, studying with Gordon Reynolds, Master of Music at Hampton Court Palace. She returned at weekends to play the organ at St. Michael’s Church, the then daughter church of St James’ in Weybridge.
In 1967 Christine left college and started teaching at St. James Junior School, at the same time becoming accompanist for the Weybridge Male Voice Choir. She continued in that role for the next eighteen years, apart from one or two short periods filling in as conductor whilst the choir was between MDs! She took over as full-time Musical Director in 1985.
In 1982 Christine was appointed Deputy Head of St James Junior School and subsequently became Head Teacher at St Mary’s Junior School in Long Ditton. On her retirement she became a Governor of what is now St James C of E Primary School in Weybridge.
As Director of Music at St James’ Church in Weybridge she was awarded the Maynard Prize in 2008 for gaining the highest marks overall in the course for the Archbishops’ Award of the Guild of Church Musicians. In the same year she was made an Honorary Member of the Guild of Church Musicians for her work in the field of church music.
Christine was also Musical Director of Treble Clef Ladies' Choir and of the Weyward Singers.
Before she died Christine had set up The Christine Best Foundation, a grant making charitable trust which promotes music making opportunities in Weybridge, Surrey, United Kingdom and the surrounding local community. The aims of the charity are to promote the appreciation of musical performance throughout the local community, to support the development of non-auditioning instrumental and choral groups for the young and not so young and to help musicians of notable musical ability from disadvantaged backgrounds to further their musical education and performance.
For more details visit the Foundation's website at thechristinebestfoundation.co.uk