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Ecumenical champion made a Dame in Honours List

03 January 2008

by Glyn Paflin

THE President of the World Council of Churches, Dr Mary Tanner OBE, becomes a Dame (DBE) in the New Year Honours list, announced last week.

Dr Tanner, an Anglican, was the theological secretary to the General Synod’s Board for Mission and Unity and subsequently to its Council for Christian Unity, but her honour is for services to the Anglican Communion as a whole.

These include her work on the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, for the Lambeth Conference, and on the Eames Commission in the 1980s, which was set up to tackle the question of women in the episcopate.

Another of the highest honours is awarded to the Chaplain-General of HM Land Forces, the Revd David Wilkes OBE QHC, who is a Methodist minister. He receives the CB.

There is a CBE for Selwyn Image, who founded the Emmaus communities in the UK, for his services to homeless people. Having worked with Abbé Pierre in Paris in the 1960s, Mr Image, an Anglican businessman, launched the UK Emmaus at Great St Mary’s, Cambridge, in 1991, with an appeal to buy a field with two derelict cowsheds near Landbeach.

Another CBE is for Dr David Golding, a longstanding Tearfund campaigner, a founder member of the Jubilee Debt Campaign, and the voluntary development co-ordinator of Make Poverty History North East. His award is for “services to the world poverty campaign”.

Among the members of other Christian denominations in the Honours are the Revd David Coffey, President of the Baptist World Alliance, who receives the OBE for services to interfaith relations; a minister of the Church of the Nazarene in Sunderland who is a bus driver, the Revd David Hands (MBE); and a Salvation Army Captain, Tracey Palmer, who receives the MBE for her services during the floods last summer.

Other recipients of OBEs are Dr Michael Grainger, lately head teacher of Barnard Castle C of E Primary School, Durham, for services to education; and Dr Donald Reeve Buttress, architect and surveyor, for his 40-year service repairing and maintaining six cathedrals in England and Wales, including Westminster Abbey.

The Revd Donald Reeves, a former Rector of St James’s, Piccadilly, in London, receives an MBE for his services to interfaith work, peace-building, and conflict-resolution in Bosnia Herzegovina. Other MBEs include those awarded to John Allen, who chairs the governors of Bury C of E High School, Lancashire, for his services to education; a Hindu, Kiran Bali, JP, who is Director of the Yorkshire and Humber Faiths Forum, for her services to community relations in West Yorkshire; John Butterworth, a licensed Reader at Christ Church, Stone, a journalist of long standing, and currently editor of the Shrewsbury Chronicle, for services to journalism and to charity, having launched many newspaper appeals in his time; John Edwards, lately site manager of Alverstoke C of E Junior School, Hampshire, for services to education; and the Revd John Davis, NS Assistant Curate of Berkswich, and Officiating Chaplain at MOD Stafford, for services to the community in Staffordshire.

Mr Davis served in the police for 30 years before his ordination, and was Community Police Officer of the Year in 1990. He has served in a range of voluntary capacities.

There are also MBEs for Canon Ernest Shepherd, a retired priest in Carrickfergus, for services to the community in Northern Ireland, and the Revd Harald Thomas, assistant curate of Pontnewydd, for services to the community in Torfaen, south-east Wales. A former British Airways manager, he has been a champion of the performing arts in the district, and chairman of the governors of Maindee Primary Schools.

Another MBE is Canon Owen Spencer-Thomas, a well-known name in the world of broadcasting and communications, for services to the C of E and to the community in Cambridgeshire, where, chairing the East Anglian Austistic Support Trust, he masterminded a £1.5-million project. Drummond Ama receives an MBE for services to shipping and the Church in the Solomon Islands, where he has been involved in the provision of the Melanesian province’s own flagship, the MV Southern Cross.

The Revd Carolyn Woodcock, Chaplain of HM Prison Lancaster Castle, is also awarded an MBE.

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