Cross of St Piran flowers

Photo by PR4 Photos

On Sunday evening, at the Cross of St Piran Thanksgiving Service, Bishop Philip spoke of how Jesus is the light of the world as well as, according to Isaiah, nations as light to the world. Those nations could mean you and me, our neighbours and communities but, on that evening, it was certainly the recipients of the Cross of St PIran.

Bishop Philip Mounstephen

Bishop Philip Mounstephen*

He explained that it’s not just a light that’s somehow bestowed upon us, but a light that comes from knowing Jesus. A light that shines brightly through the work of all the recipients. As the Bishop thanked each of the sixteen nominees, he wanted them to know what a blessing they had been, and how the many examples of loving self-sacrificial service have encouraged the rest of us.

From long service to tending to the most vulnerable

It was hard not to be moved as each citation was read out. From those who have given long service to their churches and communities to others who have tended to the most vulnerable in our society, the stories were humbling.

Among those honoured were Tegan Holden, the youngest ever recipient of the award. It’s impossible not to see the light that shines out of Tegan for whom faith is simply part of who she is.

Other nominees included Esmé Page who founded Cornwall Hugs Grenfell. Esmé’s story spoke of prayer and God’s power to get things done and open people’s hearts to provide in incredible ways to those affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Ann Boorman’s service to our homeless in Truro was honoured, together with Sara Bennett who established the Newquay Foodbank.

Tony Hocking

Tony Hocking*

Others were honoured for their pastoral service, from visiting people in their homes to making sure that everyone who stepped into their church was welcomed and felt valued. Tony Hocking received his award for, among other things, organising the award ceremonies for the past six years. Tony continued to serve during the first service, but had to bow out and enjoy the second service as a recipient instead of a server!

Making Jesus visible

As the natural light dimmed and the candles were lit, it was a clear reminder of how powerful light is. How even the smallest of flames can light a room and banish the darkness. Light shines within each and every one of the Cross of St Piran recipients, because of their love in action. It also lights a way for others to see Jesus, as the Bishop said,

“Our task, quite literally, is to make Jesus visible; our task is to be the light that enables Him to be seen. As we do the things He did, as we love, forgive, serve, share and shine as He did, we make Jesus himself evident and visible and knowable amongst us.”

St Piran, on whose witness and service to God and His church the award is based, knew all about light. It took him to our shores and lit a beacon that still shines to illuminate how nations’ love in action is the one of the best ways to show God’s love.

The Cross of St Piran recipients from the afternoon ceremony

The Cross of St Piran recipients from the evening ceremony

To read more about the individual Cross of St Piran recipients 2019, click on Faith Stories

*All photos by PR4 Photos.