A care home resident returned to the Hampshire church where she used to ring bells, enjoying a special keyboard performance along the way courtesy of one of her care companions.

Talented musician Anna Boddy ‘pulled out all the stops’ on the organ at St Mary’s Church in Micheldever to play for the visiting party including delighted Joyce Croft.

The group travelled from Colten Care’s Abbotts Barton in Winchester on a minibus trip to enjoy the church and have a picnic.

Anna, a pianist, music teacher and university lecturer, gained permission in advance to play the organ when they arrived.

She even donned a wig to get into the character of Johann Sebastian Bach, playing a selection of the German baroque composer’s work and completing the performance with pieces by Beethoven and Elgar.

Joyce, who is from Micheldever and used to ring the St Mary’s bells with her husband, sat with fellow Abbotts Barton residents admiring the church and listening to Anna play while they all had a cup of tea.

She said: “It was such a wonderful experience and I would love to do it all over again. We all loved the picnic afterwards too.”

Kirsty Sawyer, companionship team leader at Abbotts Barton, said: “Hats off to Anna for organising a really special treat for Joyce and the other residents on the trip.

“It’s not every day you get to hear such amazing music performed just for you on a magnificent church organ.”

The original church of St Mary’s was referenced in historical records as far back as 903 AD.

The oldest parts of the present Grade II Listed building date from around 1380 with the church tower added in 1544. It houses six bells, two of which were cast in 1703. The heavy tenor bell weighs eight hundredweight.

A considerable redesign was completed on the 150-seat church during the 19th century including the installation of what is considered England’s only rural rotunda.

The organ on which Anna entertained the Abbotts Barton party was installed having previously been in a chapel at Southampton University.

The church website describes the organ as a ‘great asset’, adding: “Combined with good acoustics, the church provides an excellent environment for musical events and dramatic performances.”