Cross of St Piran award recipients announced
Seventeen lay people from across the Diocese of Truro are to be recognised for their services to the Church and their local communities at the annual Cross of St Piran awards in March.
As in previous years, the awards will presented by the Bishop of Truro, the Rt Revd Philip Mounstephen during two services on March 8 at St Piran’s Church in Perranzabuloe.
Among this year’s recipients, there are individuals who will be recognised for their long contribution to the church, for their work with local charities and community groups and for their efforts to help others.
Each year deaneries are asked to nominate individuals who have gone above and beyond in their service. The full list of those to be awarded and the citations are below.
Patrick McWilliam – Bishop’s Award
Patrick McWilliam is a deeply compassionate Christian, who uses his therapeutic and sculpture skills, as well as own personal and professional life experience to bring healing to those suffering the long-term effects of trauma.
Patrick, who has served as a Royal Marine Commando, a special needs teacher and now as a trained psychotherapist, is implementing a clear, faith-filled healing vision through Wild Art Cornwall, which he founded. He has quietly delivered sculpture therapy sessions to over 70 of Cornwall Hugs Grenfell’s guests including many children through their respite holidays.
He uses the safe space of his creative “shed” just outside Penzance to facilitate a men’s prayer group and through this has been mentoring men of all ages in their life struggles and on the journey to faith with an unconditionally loving welcome for all. His work is quiet and effective, listening and coming alongside people at their most vulnerable. It is a natural out-living of his deep love of Christ and the thread of ‘service, not self’ which runs so clearly through his life.
John Trethewey has held most of the official roles in church but it is for his work in the wider community that he has been a fantastic witness and deserves recognition.
John sees a major part of Christian discipleship as living the Gospel out practically and so works tirelessly for the RNLI. He is the long serving president of the local station at Looe. As musical director for the Pelynt Male Voice Choir, John has been instrumental in their raising funds for numerous local charities and ensuring that the local residential homes get to enjoy Christmas carols and other entertainment. Over the years, John has had the responsibility of bringing choirs together from across Cornwall for major musical events.
John is well known and loved in the local community and he makes no secret that it is his faith that motivates his actions.
Ann Scawn’s quiet faith has been demonstrated over many years of faithful committed and reliable service to the Church of St Adwena, Advent and its community.
Ann was churchwarden for several years and was a member of the PCC for 50 years until she moved out of the parish, although still within the benefice. Ann visited the church, if not daily, several times a week to clean and tidy, check the flowers and perform small but essential maintenance tasks. She and her husband kept the church and its surroundings in good order.
Ann has been a true pastoral visitor, knowing everyone and supporting them in their hour of need – quietly, regularly, faithfully. She scoops people up and brings them to church, events and various outings. She is able to act as a leader or a team member of just get on with whatever needs to be done.
Ann has a particular gift with ‘difficult’ or awkward people – a true reconciler – prepared to work alongside anyone and absorb the flack: she would build a team and the job was done.
Roger Sullivan learnt to ring bells at St Anta & All Saints Church in Carbis Bay in 1952 as a 12-year-old boy. In 1974, Roger became the steeple keeper and from then has spent time caring for the bells and teaching people to ring with some coming to faith as a result.
Roger was made Deanery Steward in 1982 for Penwith Deanery which involved visiting as many towers as possible, giving support, assistance and encouragement, as well as being out bell ringing five or six times a week. He stood down from this role in 1999, however until recently, he has continued supporting other towers many evenings a week. In 2019, Roger stood down from Steeple Keeper but continued as tower co-ordinator, meeting, greeting and hosting visiting ringers.
Roger has also set up the 8am Communion service for the past 17 years. He helps to clean the church and support his wife in her church ministry. In the past, Roger has visited Marie Therese House in Hayle weekly and helped with fundraising for Parkinson’s and MS charities. He is a much-loved character both locally and further afield. Roger would go that extra mile to give assistance and encouragement to anyone when needed.
Over the last year, Debbie Harris, a Reader, has taken a share of the service leading, preaching and planning at St John’s in the Fields, Halsetown.
Debbie has taken over planning and leading the Nascent Sunday school, and helped to set up and run a toddler and baby group reaching out to dozens of local families. She has been part of sourcing and organising craft supplies and more for the groups as well as painting and gardening to make the spaces more attractive. She is a regular volunteer for the local Salvation Army Youth Club helping in various crises over the year.
Debbie has been instrumental in leading contemplative prayer and has been part of the team for piloting a new Sunday afternoon service. She will normally arrive with a cake and is almost, always the last to leave one of these groups. She has gone far above and beyond what could reasonably be asked of a lay volunteer.
Elaine Searle is a gentle, humble, hardworking and amazing lady who at such ‘unmentionable age’, is still doing things that would be hard to maintain at half her age! Elaine has represented Torpoint Wives, Lady Singers and the church to name but a few. She is a well-respected member of the church family and always finds time to help where needed.
Both churchwardens at Torpoint know they can always rely on Elaine to play the keyboard at services even when her family come to stay as she brings them along too. When it was mentioned that a coffee morning should close for the summer, it was Elaine who said ‘no’ and that she would be there weekly to ensure it stayed open for the outreach it provided. Elaine is always in the background doing her bit, and never looks for thanks or praise.
She is a shining example of Christian witness.
Linda Cobbledick is a strong supporter of Week St Mary Church and Stratton Deanery. Having lived in the village all her life, Linda has been an enormous asset to the church and its efforts to reach out to the local community. Her local knowledge and enthusiastic welcoming plus her support for the church’s activities both inside and outside the church building have helped us to welcome newcomers and place the church at the centre of village life. Linda has a great interest in enabling large fund raising efforts, which appeal to all sectors of the community and raising the profile of the church and its relevance today.
Linda has been a Local Pastoral team member for many years and is now a Local Worship Leader, which helps to enhance the worship opportunities in her own and other local churches. She is a loyal and reliable supporter, willing to join with others wherever a need arises.
Malcolm Hersee arrived in Cornwall from his native Wales in the early 1970s and has done much to serve the church and extend its influence into the wider community ever since.
As governor of Breage C of E School, Malcolm worked tirelessly to maintain the school fabric to the best possible standard. He was also on the committee to turn the old Methodist Church in Ashton into a village hall.
Malcolm will always step in and help individuals and the wider church, sometimes at a moment’s notice. He has driven countless people to hospital appointments. At Breage Church he helped to prepare the guide book for the church and parish. He recently rang the carillon of bells at a wedding donating his fee to the church.
Malcolm never seeks the limelight but works in an unobtrusive, low profile way in the two church communities of Breage and Ashton and in their wider communities.
Lindsay Hockley has been secretary to the Kerrier Deanery Synod for many years. She tirelessly and unfussily chases for things and is precise and clear in her minute taking, wanting everything done properly. Lindsay is a wonderful role model in her humour and gentleness dealing with members of Synod and visitors.
Lindsay does a huge amount for Mawgan in Meneage church seeking ways for growth in number and spread of age. She liaises with those who are heavily involved in the running of Mawgan Village Hall and participates in the local choral society. She has a profoundly positive Christian influence wherever she goes which does much to inspire and encourage others. Lindsay brings a life affirming wisdom in a way that enhances the life of others within and beyond the local church in this deanery.
Lindsay has been on the Parish Council for 20 years and during that time was community governor at Garras School for four years. She has also dog walked for The Cinnamon Trust, volunteered at the Cornwall Blind Association’s help desk at the Helston Community Hospital and has now been a befriender at the Foodbank for six years.
Pauline Sansom has been a devoted and dedicated member of the cathedral congregation for many years and involved in many aspects of cathedral life.
For over ten years, Pauline has supervised the cathedral’s Children’s Church, which meets most Sunday mornings introducing children to Bible stories, Jesus’s teaching and other aspects of the Christian faith. She then ensures that what the children have prepared is brought with the offertory and is acknowledged by the president of the Eucharist. She has done as much as anyone to incorporate the offering of children into the main act of cathedral worship.
Pauline has worked with a dedicated team of helpers, but she has been the fulcrum around which this important ministry has revolved.
Brian Spong has been a server at Truro Cathedral for many years. Through the Youth Offender Service, Brian works with 14-17-year-olds, usually boys, and usually from deprived backgrounds, who have been given reparation hours to undertake by a court. This usually means working on church sites to clear overgrown churchyards, paint loos and polish pews all under Brian’s careful supervision for a few hours at a time over several weeks.
Brian’s skill is in coaxing the most unlikely characters to begin to believe in themselves and by encouragement and patience to get them to enjoy what they are doing and to understand respect.
Brian also works with the ‘Appropriate Adult Scheme’ where he is on call supporting any young person who might be brought into a police station for questioning and has no adult support. He has also sometimes accompanied young people in court too when, as victims, they have faced the most gruelling of circumstances.
Jill Greet, who was born and raised in Portscatho, has been part of church and village life throughout the last 60 years.
Jill has been a faithful member of St Gerrans Church, serving on the PCC as well as being a churchwarden and Eucharist minister. When funds were needed for the fabric of the church, Jill set up a social committee. Her natural ability to organise and motivate with good humour became its cornerstone, as over time major schemes such as the Kneeler Project, the repair of the tower and the replacing of bells were completed.
The most challenging campaign was the Millennium Project, to create a refectory/community area, with toilet facilities and a vestry at the back of the church. Jill and her team were undaunted by the task raising over £30,000 from a series of community events. Now the Millennium Room provides the essential space needed to host regular events in the church.
Over the years Jill has given time to her family, friends, work, church and community but has always found time pursue her passion for rugby supporting the Cornish Pirates. She is now 88 and still an active generous and faithful member of St Gerrans Church.
Monty Hooper has always been an active and willing worker during his lifelong of service and devotion to St Stephen-in-Brannel Parish Church and the wider community.
Monty started bell ringing at an early age, served as tower captain for over 40 years, is currently steeple keeper maintaining the bells and was involved with the refurbishment. Monty is always willing to ring and help at other churches.
Over the years, Monty has served the church quietly and without fuss, with bell ringing, sidesman’s duties, PCC member, fundraising for both the church and other village associations and charities. He is involved with the History Society at Burgullow, the football club, is vice-president of the cricket club and for many years has been involved with the village pantomime.
A stalwart of the village, Monty can always be relied on to help without being asked and he has befriended many in the community.
Phil Tremain, who was born and brought up in St Columb, has been a reader for 20 years. He has been bell ringing of over 50 years and has been tower captain at St Columb Major for over 20 years, ringing at every principal service.
Phil has served the Truro Diocesan Guild of Ringers as press officer for over 30 years, has been their president and for many years editor of their newsletter.
As Central District Ringing Master, Phil has arranged ‘Ring & Ramble’ events, and organised groups for both retired and less experienced ringers in the deanery. He is a member of the Association of Ringing Teachers.
Thanks to Phil, new ringers are being encouraged to start ringing and improve, and bells across Cornwall’s many rural villages will continue to have groups of enthusiastic bell ringers. He makes those in the church and community feel welcome and supported.
No one could be said to be more the public face of St Euny Church in Redruth than Margaret Johnson.
Margaret has been churchwarden for many years, going out of her way to welcome people. She is wedding verger and plays a key role in the absorbing into St Euny, the congregation of nearby Carn Brea Methodist chapel, which recently closed.
Margaret provides a vital link between church and those in need of pastoral care as well as attracting all sorts of local choirs and theatre groups to St Euny. She has championed and helps run Open Café, a weekly community gathering in church featuring a craft group and ukulele band.
Margaret is also tireless in securing grant funding not only for maintaining St Euny Church building, but in 2019 to fund a defibrillator, which is now available for the community. She also runs the St Euny Facebook page with over 500 followers! All this she does with real Christian warmth, grace and patience.
Janet Thomas has been involved in the life of St Piran’s Church, Perran-Ar-Worthal and the community for many years. She is a Tower Bell ringer and member of the choir.
Janet is also a hand bell ringer, forming a group which performs at care homes in the church and community, raising funds for St Petroc’s Society. She has taught hand bell ringing to children in Perranwell School, is involved in the Family Worship Services and is now a Local Worship Leader.
For the past 11 years, she has helped run a summer children’s holiday club in the community, reaching out to the children with God’s message of love for them. She helped to set up Piran’s People Sunday Club reaching out to families, has led a Fellowship Group for the past five years, has been Deanery Synod representative and a PCC member. She initiated and set up the Lent Lunches and helps fundraising activities, providing plants and jams for the plant sale.
Janet has a very generous and kind heart, loyal and caring, a good and faithful friend and willing to do anything for anybody.
Barbara Jenkins has been a wonderful servant of both the community and the Church and is well known by so many within Falmouth and beyond.
Barbara is a tireless worker who loves to be of help wherever possible. As a member of All Saints Parish Church, Barbara has been a PCC secretary for many years.
Barbara’s involvement with Guides spanned many years and she was instrumental in setting up the ‘Beavers’ – eventually becoming County Commissioner.
Together with her husband, Barbara welcomes groups from schools and choirs into the building – as well as the local Messy Church. She has been secretary to the deanery, deputy Director for the Samaritans and treasurer of Falmouth Lifeboat.