Honours for work with children and families

04 January 2007

by Glyn Paflin

A BISHOP, the chairman of a Methodist children’s charity, the retiring Worldwide President of the Mothers’ Union (MU), a diocesan director of schools, a team rector, and a church-school headmistress are among the recipients of awards in the New Year Honours list, announced last Saturday.

  The former Bishop of Blackburn, the Rt Revd Alan Chesters, is made a CBE. Bishop Chesters, formerly chairman of the North-West Rural Affairs Forum, is honoured for his services to the community in the North-West. There is also a CBE for Gordon Edington, for services to children: he chairs the council of the Methodist charity NCH (formerly National Children’s Home); and for the composer Dr John Rutter (for services to music).

  Trish Heywood, who lives in Dunfermline, Fife, and has been the MU’s Worldwide President for the past six years, is awarded the OBE (for charitable services), as are Tom Peryer, director of the London diocesan board for schools since 1999 (for services to education), and Carol Wolstenholme, lately leadership-development manager for the Pensions Service, who is better known in Newcastle diocese for chairing the diocesan pastoral committee.

  Janet Roberts, head teacher of All Saints’ C of E Junior School, Fleet, Hampshire, a school noted for its emphasis on creativity across the whole curriculum, also receives an OBE, as do the Team Rector of Bournemouth Town Centre since 1996, Canon James Richardson, for services to the Church of England; Professor Richard Bailey, former chairman of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Committee for the North-East, and a Lay Canon Emeritus of Newcastle Cathedral, for services to heritage; and Peter Chapman, founder of the Shekinah Mission in Plymouth, for services to homeless people.

Among the MBEs are: Euan Allen, project co-ordinator of Suffolk Cathedral Millennium Project, and Canon Pat Atkinson, Chaplain at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, who has spent more than 16 years working to help children in the slums of south India through the Vidiyal Trust. Also John Bailey TD, chairman of the Worcester diocesan advisory committee for the care of churches; and John Bray, chief executive of the youth charity The Bishop’s Forum, in Cornwall.


  MBEs also include: Anne Faulconer JP, of Fifehead Neville, near Sturminster Newton, in Dorset, for services to the Children’s Society, which have included fund-raising, motivating and recruiting volunteers, and helping to launch the Safe and Sound Campaign; and Roberta Haffey, long-serving secretary to the Archbishop of Armagh. Last year, Lord Eames spoke of her “quiet confidence and courage” when the going was tough. “She has been known and respected by name across the Anglican Communion and by so many in other countries, other Churches, and other communities she will never meet face to face.”

  Mary Jackson began teaching in 1944. A supply teacher at Shanklin C of E Primary School on the Isle of Wight, she receives an MBE, too, for services to education.

  Also among the MBEs are: Pat Phillips, Executive Administrator at SPCK, for services to the society; Canon Walter Quill, Rector of Derg with Termonamongan, on the Irish border, who is involved in the Ulster Project and other efforts to ease community tensions, for services to the community in Castlederg; Lt Cdr Victor Spong, Royal Naval Reserve (Rtd), treasurer of All Saints’, Gosforth, for services to the Sea Cadet Corps, Newcastle; Audrey Whitehead, a worshipper at Portsmouth Cathedral, involved in the E. C. Roberts Centre, which supports disadvantaged families in the city; and Heather Williamson, a Reader at St Andrew’s, Malvern, for services to the community in Malvern, where she is a teacher and school governor, and is involved in the town’s Home Start Scheme.

  In the diplomatic and overseas list, there is a CMG for Professor Victor Bulmer-Thomas OBE, Director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, whose late father was a prominent churchman, Ivor Bulmer-Thomas; an OBE for Dr Francesca Elloway, a CMS mission partner, for medical service in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she has been based in Aru since 1993, and supervises a network of rural health centres; and an MBE for Canon Huw Thomas, a USPG missionary who has recently retired as Principal of Edwardes College, Peshawar, in Pakistan, for services to British education and British citizens in Pakistan.

  In the Bahamas, awards include CMGs for Basil Sands, for services to accountancy, the Anglican Church, and the field of diplomacy in the Bahamas, and for the Bishop of New Providence, the Rt Revd Gilbert Thompson, for services to the Church and the community.

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