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William Fittall knighted in New Year’s Honours List

30 December 2015


Long-service: William Fittall listens to a visiting speaker at the General Synod, in London

Long-service: William Fittall listens to a visiting speaker at the General Synod, in London

THE former Secretary General of the General Synod, William Fittall, who retired on 30 November, has been knighted Knight Bachelor in the New Year’s Honours List for services to the Church of England.

In his farewell to the Synod, he spoke of his desire to see the Church “recapture the imagination of those who, in a society awash with more information than ever, remain desperately hungry for meaning” (News, 4 December).

Also knighted was Malcolm Evans, Professor of Public International Law at Bristol University and Chair of the UN Subcommittee for the Prevention of Torture. He was appointed Knight Commander for “services to torture prevention and religious freedom”. A member of the panel of the Independent Inquiry into Child Sex Abuse, he will lead the investigation into abuse in education and religious institutions. 

Seventeen people were honoured for their contribution to the fight against Ebola in West Africa, including a volunteer nurse, Katie Ann Gatward, who was appointed MBE, and Dr Michael Jacobs, clinical lead in infectious diseases at the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, who was knighted Knight Bacehlor. He treated the nurses Pauline Cafferkey, Will Pooley, and Anna Cross after they contracted the disease (News, 2 January).

Neil Jameson, executive director of Citizens UK, was appointed CBE for services to community organising and social justice. 

Recipients of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) include Hannah Ellis Carmichael, a trustee of Depaul UK, for services to homeless and vulnerable young people.

The senior Anglican chaplain in Athens, Canon Malcolm Bradshaw was appointed MBE for services to interfaith understanding and community charities in Greece. He has been helping to co-ordinate the response to the refugee crisis in the country (News, 30 October).

Greg Valerio, an activist in the jewellery industry, was appointed MBE for his services to the UK and Fairtrade gold sectors in Colombia and East Africa. In 2011, he worked with the Fairtrade Foundation to launch the world’s first Fairtrade gold (Interview, 3 January, 2014).

Also among the MBEs were the MP for West ’Are’are, in the Solomon Islands, Chief Alfred Hairiu, for services to teaching, the Church, politics, and community development; and to the Revd Professor Kenneth Rankin Ross, a Kirk minister who chairs the Scotland Malawi Partnership, for services to the community in Malawi, and to Scottish-Malawi Relations.

Carmel McConnell, the founder of Magic Breakfast, which feeds more than 23,500 schoolchildren each morning, was appointed MBE for services to school food. Priscilla Kealy was given the MBE for services to the community in Ripon. She has served for 40 years as churchwarden in North Stainley and for ten years as a clerk and trustee to the Hospitals Almshouses and Chapels Trust

Efforts to preserve church heritage were noted. Canon Brian Mountford, Vicar of the University Church of St Mary’s, Oxford, Chaplain of St Hilda’s College, and the author of Christian Atheist: Belonging without believing was appointed MBE for services to ecclesiastical heritage. Neil Owen Skelton received the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the preservation and conservation of Imber Church, Wiltshire. Brenda Slade received the BEM for services to Westminster Abbey and the creation and preservation of ceremonial garments.

Among others who received the BEM were Kwaku Frimpong-Manson, Bishop of the Apostolic Congress of Great Britain, for services to the Reverend community in Tottenham, London; and the Vicar of St Cuthbert’s, Portsea, Canon David Power, for services to the community in Portsmouth. He spoke in 2012 of the £4.5-million transformation of the church from one locked and unavailable to the local community to one housing a doctor’s surgery, community complex, and new worship area (Around the Dioceses, 12 June 2012).

Robin Woodd received the award for services to the community in Hemel Hempstead, particularly through the Samaritans and St. Mary's Church. 

The Revd Heather Widdows, NSM of St Maelrubha's Episcopal Church, Poolewe, received the BEM for services to the community in Gairloch, Ross-shire. 

Contributions to church music were honoured. BEMs were awarded to Anthony Paul Ingle (voluntary and charitable services to the community in Cambridgeshire through church music); Graham McInnes (services to church music and the Wellingborough Talking Newspaper); and the Director of Music at Holy Trinity, Llandudno, Norman Rimmer (services to music and the community in North Wales). Mr McInnes has been involved in church music for 70 years. 

Georgina Jones, a former church organist at St Gwyddelan's, Dolwyddelan, was awarded the BEM for voluntary service to the Church and the community in Dolwyddelan, Conwy. John Fall, who served for 50 years as Churchwarden at Kirklington, was awarded the BEM for services to the community of Kirklington. 

Chaplains honoured included the Revd James Francis, a chaplain to the Army, appointed MBE; and Keith Cyril Ineson, an agricultural chaplain, awarded the BEM for services to the farming community in Cheshire.

About one in ten honours this year was for work in education. Among the 26 head teachers celebrated was Paulette Osborne, the head of St Matthew’s C of E Primary School, Birmingham, who received an MBE for services to education. Gaynor Ellen Mary Clegg, a senior lunchtime supervisor at Ravensthorpe C of E (Controlled) Junior School, Dewsbury, was also honoured for services to education, with the BEM.

The arts were celebrated.Sir Roy Strong, a former director of both the National Portrait Gallery and the Victoria and Albert Museum, in London, was appointed a Companion of Honour for services to culture (Features, 6 September 2013).

Actors honoured included David Oyelowo, who played Martin Luther King Jnr in the film Selma (Features, 2 October), and Idris Elba, who played Nelson Mandela in Mandela: Long walk to freedom (Reviews, 3 January, 2014), both of whom were awarded OBEs.

“Awards and honours come in all shapes and sizes, and all as significant as the other, but this is beyond special, as it comes from Queen and country, and I couldn’t be more proud for receiving this right now,” Mr Elba said. “What a year. . . On me head, son!”

Barbara Windsor said that she was “so very honoured, proud, and extremely humbled” to be made a Dame.

Of the 1196 people honoured, the youngest was 13-year-old Jonjo Heuerman, who received the BEM after raising £250,000 for the Bobby Moore Fund at Cancer Research UK.



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