Well known St Merryn resident Moira Gill was chosen as one of 25 people to receive a Cross of St Piran Award from the Bishop of Truro.

Describing the news as ‘a big surprise’, Moira celebrated the award with her large circle of friends. “I feel really honoured to get it. I’ve hired a minibus and my closest friends and members of the congregation will be coming with me to the service. Then the week after I’m going to have a reception in our church hall and we will make it really joyful.”

Moira is credited with providing a steady pair of hands at St Merryn Church where she has been churchwarden for a number of years. Moira’s presence a gift that has proved invaluable in the last few months as the congregation come to terms with the sudden loss of their popular vicar, the Revd Canon Julia Wilkinson, who passed away in 2015.

Moira said: “I did all kinds of things when Canon Julia was here because she looked after three churches. When she became ill it was very lucky I knew so much because I was able to help. I’d become a Local Worship Leader about a year before Canon Julia became ill because she persuaded two of us to do it and its been heaven sent really because we’ve been able to take the morning prayer service and I’ve done things I didn’t think I could.

“Despite Julia’s passing, what has been lovely is we’ve kept the church going very, very happily in the name of Christ. Everybody came together when we found out Julia was so ill and we’ve really done it. We have a good team.”

Nominated for the award by members of the parish, Moira was described as ‘a blessing’ for her exceptional dedicated service to not only the church and parish but also the wider community. In fact, Moira is so popular that she has previously been awarded the title of ‘Fun Mayor’ in St Merryn, an honour reserved for residents who positively contribute to village life.

And Moira certainly does that. As well as stints on the PCC and her role as Churchwarden, Moira is also Secretary for the local Churches Together Women’s Day of Prayer group, treasurer for the local Cancer Research group, manager of the church hall, a fundraising co-ordinator for the church and with her energy and enthusiasm for outreach, has also built links between the church and local school.

Moira said: “I’ve had a very good life and I like to think I’m giving the world back something it’s given me. Faith has always been very important to me and the Lord is always there with you at all times.”