“Faith came upon me,” says Julie. “I didn’t have an Epiphany moment, but drew closer to faith through the power of the words, the hymns and the fabric of the church.”
It is said of Julie that every village should have someone like her. Julie is a steady pair of hands in a crisis, having been secretary to the PCC for decades, secretary to the Parish Council and Church Warden at Towednack, she has seen the minutiae of community life from the inside out. “I love taking minutes!” she says, “I guess it’s because I like being in the middle of things and I really enjoying recording history.”
Julie has records going back thirty years or more and, when she has time, loves to look back and reflect on the changes. “Today we have to be aware of things like safe-guarding and data protection, back then it seems we recorded garden fetes and re-positioning of benches!”
Julie has also taken on the role of Local Worship Leader. Having been a church warden and lived through multiple interregnums, it was a role she felt she was ready for. “Part of being a Church Warden is knowing what to do if the vicar doesn’t turn up! It’s never dull – I recently had to lead a pet service, which could have been a challenge as I’m not particularly fond of dogs! But it went really well. Someone even brought along a chicken!”
Julie says that it was so encouraging to have been asked to join the team of Worship Leaders and she relishes the role. “It gives me so much pleasure to think about what will go into a service and to play a part in it.”
Perhaps Julie’s aptitude for being a Worship Leader could be because leading congregations is in her blood. When Julie researched her family history, she discovered that her great grandfather founded a church up in the midlands and it is very likely that her grandmother played a significant part in church life as well. Her cousin, who was the first in the family to come to the area to take over the neighbouring farm, became a vicar in later years and was based at St Ives.
Julie is not afraid to embrace the new. She had her first computer twenty years ago and loved it, especially in the way it has helped her create documents and publications. She is very much involved in ‘Cledry Calling’, a local newsletter that is essential reading for the church and local community.
Julie was very touched to be offered this award, especially as it has been given for something she truly enjoys – seeing what needs doing and rolling up her sleeves to do it.