Angela is one of this year’s recipients of the Cross of St Piran.

Angela Dickens was born in Tintagel, where her father served as warden for the Church of Saint Materiana. Now, at 84 years old, she still lives in Tintagel and continues to serve her parish church.

Angela was educated in Cheltenham, and went on to teach History and Physical Education in Plymouth. She later returned to Tintagel to work at the local primary school, where she started teaching the infants class, before being appointed as headteacher, a position she held for many years. Upon her retirement, she continued to support the school in the role of governor.

Although she has studied and worked in Gloucestershire and Devon, her home county and village have always remained close to her heart.

“All my family are from Cornwall,” she says. “My parents were born here. All of us were baptized at St Materiana’s Church. I’ve lived most of my 84 years in Tintagel. We’re really very Cornish.”

Her relationship with her parish church has always been of great importance to her.

“I’ve always been involved with the church – from my baptism all the way through,” she says. “My father was a churchwarden and I used to spend a lot of time in church with him. We attended Sunday services with my mother and sisters. I did the flowers in the church and still do.”

Angela continues to arrange the flowers for the service at St Materiana’s on the first Sunday of each month.

“I love serving and I love doing the flowers,” she says. “We’ve organised flower festivals which have raised a lot of money for the community. I still love doing the flowers at Easter, Christmas and throughout the year.”

She has followed in her father’s footsteps to serve as churchwarden at St Materiana’s and as a sacristan. She has also supported her parishioners as a pastoral visitor.

“It’s always been very important to me to serve the local community,” she says. “I want my faith to show in the village, and I do whatever I can to be part of the community. My faith is all-important to me, in that I try to do what I can to follow Christ in the church. I serve on a Sunday and do other jobs. I love every minute of it.”

She says she has felt both surprise and joy at having had her life’s service to the church recognized in the award of a Cross of St Piran.

“I feel very honoured and blessed that members of the church community decided to put me forward for such a wonderful honour,” she says. “For a while, I was just surprised, but they told me it was something they really wanted to happen. As I say, I feel very honoured and blessed that they did it.”