The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek, welcomed 19 people into the Company of St Kyneburga in recognition of their long service to the life of the Church in and around Gloucestershire, during a special service at Gloucester Cathedral.
The 19 people, all from different backgrounds, have been recognised for the different roles they play in the life of the Church. Bishop Rachel said: “The Company of St Kyneburga is a group of people who have served the Diocese of Gloucester with distinction in a way that many wish to honour. Members of the Company, having been nominated by others, are admitted to the Company and receive their badge of membership at a special service in Gloucester Cathedral.”
The awards take place annually. The Company takes its name from Kyneburga, co-foundress and abbess in the eighth century of the first religious community at what is now Gloucester Cathedral. Membership of the Company of Saint Kyneburga recognises and honours service to the Diocese, usually over a very long period of time, by Readers, churchwardens, church architects, musicians, head teachers, clergy and others.
New members –
|Sara Turner||Tudor Griffiths||Cheltenham||I warmly commend Sara Turner to the Company of Kyneburga. Sara has served as Churchwarden in Leckhampton and was instrumental in bringing the South Cheltenham Team into being. After a distinguished teaching career in the Ladies College, Sara has continued to show a strong commitment to young people, including volunteering to help with work with them. Sara has long been committed to ministry with older people in Faithful House. For all my time as Area Dean in Cheltenham Sara has served as a faithful, loyal, wise and godly Lay Chair. Her commitment across the Deanery is exemplary, regardless of churchmanship and tradition. Sara remains a true servant of Christ in Gloucester Diocese.
Rector and Area Dean of Cheltenham
|Jenny Perry||Les Reilly and Janet Faull||Gloucester|| Jenny was the Treasurer at Quedgeley for between 5-8 years until about 2009. She had previously served as Secretary to the PCC.
I (Les Reilly) became Lay Chair in 2007 and Jenny joined the Deanery team as Parish Share officer soon after She later took on the additional role of Deanery Treasurer. She held both roles until 2016 when she stood down in order to look after her husband who had become almost totally blind.
St Catharines Gloucester – After leaving the church at Quedgeley Jenny finally settled at St Catharines and was soon approached to take on the role as Treasurer and is still carrying out that role.
Jenny has been a very loyal and supportive asset in Gloucester Deanery at both Deanery and parish level carrying out her duties in an exemplary way whilst at the same time offering support to her Deanery colleagues and to treasurers of parishes. In the 9 years that I have been Lay Chair I cannot recall a time when she has not been fully involved – her retirement from Deanery roles has left a big gap.
|Mrs Ruth Blandford
|Simon Mason||Severn Vale||St John the Baptist Church Preston – Leadon Vale Benefice
Ruth has been a member of the PCC since the 1970’s and churchwarden at Preston Church since 1976. Ruth has been a representative on the Deanery synod for thirty years. Forest North originally and latterly Severn vale Deanery.
After the arrival of Rev. Reg. Legg in 1980 each of the four parishes were asked to nominate prayerfully a person who in their eyes represented God and the church in the community. These people formed the first of the Lay Pastors in the Dymock Parishes. Ruth Blandford was part of the original group. After several months/years of training by Rev. Reg. Legg the lay pastors are recognised by the Bishop of Gloucester. They were authorised to help administer the sacrament to lead morning and evening prayers. The Dymock Lay Pastors were one of the first ministry groups in the Gloucester Diocese and the C of E faith in the countryside report of the Archbishop’s commission on Rural Areas 1990. Lay Pastors were expected to visit the sick and welcome newcomers to the Parish.
Ruth is renowned for her excellent cooking, producing several cakes for each and every event. Ruth continues to be a good visitor often taking a cake with her! Ruth has been the mainstay of Preston Church since the early 80’s and a magnificent example of the caring community of the Church.
|Rosemary Watkin||Janet Faull||Gloucester||50 years of being the main organist of St Barnabas Gloucester.
Rosemary has played the organ at St Barnabas for fifty years. She plays for Sunday services as well as the majority of funerals and weddings. She leads a monthly hymn practice for the Hymn Singer’s Group who sing during every communion administration. Her love of church music is infectious and inspiring, and I have been enriched musically and spiritually by our monthly meetings to choose hymns for each Sunday. Over the years she has shown support where modern songs have replaced the older hymns. Rosemary is also a PCC member, she organises the flower rota, the charity giving and she is on the ‘Worship, Prayer and Planning’ Committee. Her heart for worship, mission, liturgy and theology shines through all her ministry.
|George Marchant||Janet Faull and Ruth Fitter||Gloucester||St Pauls and St Stephens, Gloucester.
I would like to nominate George Marchant for his very faithful service to St Paul and St Stephen’s but also the Cathedral. George maintains the grounds around the church meticulously and has done for many years now. He also leads a weekly house group and is seen as a man of wisdom amongst us. He is also a guide at the Cathedral and has a passion for imparting the Gospel to those of every age. His service to the church has been life-long but I would want to recognise his particular gifts in the upkeep of the grounds of the church and his educational contribution to people of all ages.
|Mr Robert Aston||Chris Maclay and Tony Williams||Forest South||‘Bob’ became organist at Christchurch at the age of 19, in 1952. He has, since then, faithfully enhanced the worship of the Church. His ability and willingness to play everything from Sung Evensong, to modern day praise and worship songs is a real boon to the worshipping life of this and the many other Churches he has and does support where needed.
Bob has also been a significant figure in hundreds of weddings and funerals both here and most other Churches on the Wye Side of the Forest, always willing to support the on-going pastoral ministry of the Church.
However, this in itself tells little of the story of a man with a deep pastoral concern and great insight into the Forest Community. He is always willing to offer advice and support and almost weekly, draws attention and seeks prayer for the many people he visits regularly, always offering practical and spiritual support.
Often found helping the Flower team, or supporting the many Charity events we hold; Bob also offers himself to support the worship of neighbouring Parishes.
Bob is a selfless Christian Man who never seeks the limelight but has, for the past 65 years, offered faithful and committed Christian service and care.
|Daphne Baulcomb||Chris Maclay and Alan Wearmouth||Forest South||“Daphne Baulcomb has been associated with St Peter, Clearwell, throughout her life and remains a reliable Verger and helper with the Wedding ministry of the Church now that it hosts some 30 or more Weddings a year. She served as Churchwarden for many years under different incumbents and more recently as Assistant Warden when Clearwell was brought into the larger Mid-Wyedean Parish. Everybody knew that Daphne was the one to go to for information and for practical help such as ensuring there is enough oil for the boiler or that the flowers for a Wedding are in good order. Daphne has also been a great supporter of the local Church School, acting as a Foundation Governor as generations of pupils went through the school. Despite suffering from poor health in recent years Daphne remains a loyal, passionate and committed supporter of her local Church and still attends PCC meetings on behalf of St Peter’s.”|
|Peter Cottey||Howard Gilbert||Cirencester||Peter has served as Church warden for well over ten years, and has been a pillar of our church and community for many more than that. He carefully oversees the work of the PCC, as vice-chair, as well as being an important member of the finance and hall committees, and serving as chair on our personnel committee for many years.
Peter has also served his community tirelessly over many years, not least as a teacher, but also many years of running local scouting groups.
|June Godsell||Howard Gilbert||Cirencester||June served as church-warden for over 15 years, and has been a stalwart of the local community.
June has been very active in the parish generally, regularly leading midday prayers and as a pastoral visitor who regularly takes home communion to three people. June also runs fund-raising coffee mornings and generally keeps St. Lawrence’s church in order!
|Fiona Brown||Malc Allen and John Paul Hoskins||Tewkesbury & Winchcombe||Fiona has been in charge of the music here in Winchcombe for a long time – around 25 years, and continues to inspire a very high standard of music-making in the parish. Where she particularly excels is at drawing in and retaining children and young people – there are a significant number of under-16s in the choir, including some quite a bit younger than that. She is dynamic, energetic and deeply committed to the ministry of music in a fairly ordinary parish, when she could have easily gone on to a ‘bigger’ job elsewhere.|
|Mr Harry Dunsford||Malc Allen||Tewkesbury & Winchcombe||Harry Dunsford has been a constant presence at St Michael & All Angels for over 55 years. During this time he has welcomed tens of thousands of people at the door, he has been a ‘go to’ person for Stewarding at funerals, baptisms and weddings. He has been instrumental in the upkeep of our historic building and has mapped and catalogued the graves of our ancient churchyard. As well as being a PCC member, he has carried out Verger duties, has been a Deanery Synod Rep for over 10 years and is still an active member of the Choir – which he joined as a young man. A new, external boiler house at the back of church was recently and affectionately named ‘Harry’s Shed’.|
|Mrs Anne Heywood||Malc Allen||Tewkesbury & Winchcombe||Anne moved to Bishop’s Cleeve in 1971 and has been actively involved in the life of St Michael and All Angels since then. During the intervening years, Anne has been Churchwarden, she ran the Mothers’ Union and was Deanery President of the MU. Anne has worked tirelessly in caring for and gathering the older people of our community together and amongst other things, established our thriving Friday Lunch Clubs and the annual MacMillan fund raiser event; which at 84yrs old, she is still involved in. Outside of church life, Anne was a teacher at King’s School in Gloucester for 20yrs. Anne continues to be a loyal, supportive and faith-filled member of our church community.|
|Sister Pat Holland||Malc Allen||Tewkesbury & Winchcombe||Pat was appointed to Bishop’s Cleeve in 1993 and is still ‘licenced to officiate’. Her ministry has concentrated on the wider aspects of pastoral care – especially of the elderly, hospital chaplaincy and overseeing the home communion team. Amongst other initiatives, Pat developed a much-valued, mid-week service for those largely unable to manage a Sunday service and this still thrives to this day, with a regular attendance of between 25-38. She was for many years Chair of the Flower Guild and is still the Group Leader of the Church Army personnel living and working in the Gloucester diocese. In 2012, Pat celebrated 50 years as a Commissioned Evangelist of the Church Army.|
|Jean Macpherson||Chris Maclay||Forest South||Jean Macpherson is now in her ’80s and has been coming to St James’ all her life. She is a member of the Open the Book team and continues to tell the children at the school about what it was like when she was 4!
When I asked someone to list the things that she has done in the church the list became very long. Here are some examples: Organist and music leader, Choir member, Sunday School Teacher, PCC Member, Mothers Union member, Organiser of many things including Church camps, Local walks for children and young people to gather flowers for easter services, Taking children out on walks on Sunday afternoons, Cleaning, Flowers, Brasses, Registers, CCLI Music reports, Communion Supplies, Running the Under 5s group, Running the Lunch Club, Missionary Prayer Group.
The things that she continues to do today she does with such a joyful and loving spirit. I always know if she has arrived as I can hear her singing. She and her late husband decided long ago never to stand in the way of modernising ideas in the church, so she is always there, always available, always servant-hearted.
She has very little understanding of how all of this fits into ‘The Diocese’ but this corner of the Diocese would be much poorer without her.
|The Revd Pauline Green||Alison Evans and Felicity Bayne||Pauline has recently retired from co-ordinating the Spirituality Network for Gloucestershire which she founded more than twenty years ago. The Network is now an organisation of nearly 300 members, which quietly, faithfully, efficiently provides spiritual sustenance that enables growth in Christian faith and love, across the denominations and right across the county.
Under her leadership, the Network has grown and flourished. As well as running a regular programme of Study Days and Quiet Days, it has taught on how to lead Quiet Days, how to run Weeks of Accompanied Prayer and it has supported the course for Spiritual Directors which Pauline initiated and taught on for many years. Pauline also initiated and supported the work of Retreats at Glenfall House, and in other houses in Gloucestershire. She is a much-valued Spiritual Director. Over many years, the diocese and the county have benefited from her leadership, inspiration and creativity; from her hard work, and her example of unwavering devotion to our Lord Jesus Christ.
|Mrs Rona Pritchard||Malc Allen and Paul Williams||Tewkesbury & Winchcombe||Rona moved to Tewkesbury with her husband, Bob, in 1949 and, since then, they have always played an active part in the Abbey community.
Rona joined the Flower Guild in 1964 and has attended at least two mornings a week since then. Buying or collecting flowers on Wednesdays, cutting foliage on Thursdays and creating floral arrangements on Fridays along with placements for wedding, funerals and memory flowers on other days.
Rona and Bob jointly cultivated plants for the Flower Guild which were grown on their allotment or in the Abbey walled garden which they helped maintain until Bob’s death in 2014. Endless trays of seeds are prepared each year to start germinating with cuttings thriving, in their warm home or greenhouse. to produce plants to sell – Rona, subsequent to Bob’s death, still continues to do this.
She has been Treasurer of the Flower Guild for many years, only stepping down at the recent 2017 AGM so she can mentor a new Treasurer taking over the responsibility. She felt that at 90 years of age it was about time she handed over the reins!
Her walk, in all weathers, to purchase the blooms always involves negotiating a good price with the Tewkesbury Market traders in order to maximise funds for the Flower Guild. Rona has always enjoyed giving her time and belonging to, and serving, a community she loves so much. She is an active member of the Mothers’ Union and her faith is deeply held and gently communicated to all around her.
This is a good opportunity to recognise all those who express their faith by beautifying our churches with the bounty of creation and, through their skills so freely given, give glory of God.
|Chris Cole||Barbara Messham||Tewkesbury & Winchcombe||40 years of being Parish Secretary on the PCC in Twyning parish. He’s also been churchwarden for quite a while but that’s something to celebrate later.|
|Sally Dymott||Katrina Scott||North Cotswold||Sal is a churchwarden at Chipping Campden but also gives herself fully to life of the wider church and town. This was evident in the way she was part of the group that met with Bishop Michael and others to discuss the pastoral re-organisation of this part of the North Cotswolds that lead to the formation of the Vale and Cotswold Edge Team. She is on the council of reference for the Ministry Department and she is a member of the team organising Project Turn Key. In addition to this wider church work, she also serves on numerous trusts and charities in the town particularly those that serve the disadvantaged.|
|Mary Miller||Katrina Scott||North Cotswold||Mary has over the years served both her local church as churchwarden in Honeybourne, and the wider Deanery as Joint Lay Chair. Recently she has trained as a Worship Leader and continues to serve on Diocesan Synod. Mary combines these roles with a passion for the local along with care for the wider church.|