Eighteen lay people received the Cross of St Piran from Bishop Tim at two thanksgiving services held in Perranzabuloe Church on Sunday 3 March. In total, their years of service to the Church in Cornwall spanned over 500 years.

In his sermon, Bishop Tim referred to the opening lines of Isaiah 49, ‘The Lord called me before I was born; while I was in my mother’s womb he named me’.

He said that, in his view, all the recipients of the Cross of St Piran had three things in common: upon receiving a letter from him notifying them of the award, each of them will have said, “Why me?”; when they eventually shared the news with other people, those who heard the news would have said, “Quite right too”; and finally they, like everyone else in the congregation, are all human beings. And all of us, as created human beings, are gifts from God.

“This is quite remarkable,” said Bishop Tim. “All these people are just human beings. So it is not simply about saying ‘thank you’ for the job they have done, but rather saying ‘thank you’ for the people they are.

“They all have poignant stories in their lives, involving sadness, illness and other challenges; and as these people walk up to receive their awards, you will know the stories they bring with them.”

Referring to the children in the congregation, Bishop Tim said: “It is so good to hear the voices of the children. Brothers and sisters we are all creatures created by God. We are gifts. Each and every one of us is formed – each and every one is loved – each formed in our mother’s womb.

“We are all gifts from God, yet we spend time deflecting that fact. We are loved by God for who we are. God keeps telling us he loves us, but we keep saying ‘no, can’t be me’. So dare to understand that you are loved by God and that God created you and that God works through you.”

Each thanksgiving service was followed by much excitement and animated conversation, together with generous food and refreshment. Particular thanks were extended to Revd Jeremy Andrew and his whole team from the Benefice of Perranzabuloe and Crantock with Cubert for its meticulous organization of the events, achieving a balance between efficiency and a great sense of ‘occasion’.


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