Biker organist raises £3,000 in race against time around 12 cathedrals

A church organist from Armagh donned her motorcycle leathers at the weekend in a bid to play 12 concerts on 12 cathedral organs across NI in a single day.

Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 6:35 pm
Updated Sunday, 22nd July 2018, 6:39 pm
Elise Crean and husband Dessie Moorcroft welcomed to St McCartins Cathedral, Enniskillen, by Dean of Clogher, Very Rev Kenneth Hall

Musician and biker Elise Crean had help in completing the 270-mile dash, as she was taken to each venue on a powerful motorcycle piloted by her husband Dessie Moorcroft.

Bike enthusiast Elise, who is the resident organist in First Armagh Presbyterian Church, carried out the challenge to raise money towards the £70,000 required to rebuild the church’s historic organ.

Speaking to the News Letter, an exhausted Elise said her efforts have so far raised £3,000.

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Elise Crean outside her church, First Armagh Presbyterian, with husband Dessie Moorcroft

Her marathon fundraising mission began in St Patrick’s Catholic Cathedral in Armagh at 7am on Saturday, and 14 hours later she arrived back in the city for her final concert at St Patrick’s CoI Cathedral.

“It was a great experience and while I am tired and a little stiff today, it was more than worth it,” she said.

“Initially I was thinking if we got £100 per cathedral it would be great. But we have an average of about £250 from each venue. I am just delighted at how generous people have been.”

Elise said the highlight of the experience was arriving at the final venue and seeing the crowd of supporters waiting for her.

She added: “When we arrived in Armagh and saw all the people there welcoming us back, it was a special feeling.”

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/firstarmaghorgan