Janet Ward awarded Cross of St Piran
“This award isn’t really for me,” says Janet. “It’s for our church, St Marwenne in Marhamchurch. It’s a wonderful reflection of the prominent place this little church has in our large community.”
It’s a church that, when Janet walked over the threshold seven years ago, made her feel as if she had come home. And that was after losing her first husband, spending seven years in France, on her own, and starting again in the South West.
Janet was confirmed in her fifties, in France. Although she had always considered herself to be a Christian it was doing an Alpha course at the English church in Cognac that made her faith come alive. “I became so hungry!” says Janet. “There were four English churches spread across that part of France, with only one service a month at each. I would drive 200 miles there and back just so I could worship and hear God’s word.”
It’s easy to love the people we like, loving all the rest is where God comes in.
Being part of St Marwenne has enriched her faith, without all the driving! “I’ve learnt many things through my experiences,” says Janet, “probably the most significant has been learning to love, even when it’s a challenge! It’s easy to love the people we like, loving all the rest is where God comes in. I’ve also learnt a lot about forgiveness, especially the way that if I don’t forgive, the person that gets hurt the most is me.”
Janet stepped up to become a Local Worship Leader, and, working with a team of three others, it is a calling that she relishes.
“I love thinking and praying about what to put in each service, it’s always on my mind, in a good way. It’s a mighty responsibility, but great fun, especially working with the other Leaders.”
Janet also gets involved with Messy Church. This has not only strengthened the relationship between the church and the local school, but with other churches as well as Janet has developed relationships with them so that they work together on the project. Open the Box is the next adventure, an activity for pre-school children, when Janet will gently share Bible stories with the young children, with the help of figures taken from the box.
Described as having “a gentleness in serving that draws others alongside her,” it was obvious after talking with Janet, that humility, kindness and a genuine desire to make sure others are happy are God-given characteristics that also define her.