THE founder and chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, Mervyn Thomas, appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George (CMG), is among those named in the New Years Honours List. His award is for services to human rights and freedom of religion or belief.
The announcement follows the news that the Government has commissioned a review of the persecution of Christians globally (News, 26 December).
Among those knighted in the list, published on Friday, are Gary Streeter, the Conservative MP for South West Devon and Chair of Christians in Parliament, honoured for political and public service; and a former chorister of St Paul’s Cathedral, Alastair Cook, for services to cricket.
The Evangelical Alliance’s first black Pentecostal general director, Canon Joel Edwards, an Assemblies of God minister and Ecumenical Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, was appointed CBE for tackling poverty and injustice. The preacher at this year’s Windrush service at Westminster Abbey, he is also a director of Micah Challenge.
CSWMervyn Thomas, founder of Christian Solidarity Worldwide
The Revd Paula Vennells, an NSM in the diocese of St Albans and the chief executive of Post Office Ltd, was appointed CBE for services to the Post Office and to charity. She is a trustee of Hymns Ancient & Modern.
The worldwide president of the Mothers’ Union, Lynne Tembey, was appointed OBE for services to the MU, women, and families. Others appointed OBE include Maureen O’Neill, Director of Faith in Older People, for services to older people and voluntary organisations; Howard Sinclair, CEO of St Mungos for services to homeless people; and Dr Kate Tiller, a local historian in Oxford, whose works include a history of Dorchester Abbey, for services to local history.
Among those honoured for charitable endeavours are David Bragg, founder of Send a Cow (News, 25 October 2013), appointed OBE for services to tackling poverty in Africa; and Michael Edwards, Vice President of Save the Children, appointed OBE for services to philanthropy and children in Sierra Leone.
Those honoured for their contribution to interfaith work include Mustafa Field MBE, director of the Faiths Forum for London, appointed OBE for services to faith communities and social cohesion. The Dean of Manchester, the Very Revd Rogers Govender, was appointed MBE for services to interfaith relations and to the community in Manchester, and Wahida Shaffi was appointed MBE for services to women, young people, and interfaith and community relations..
Church musicians were also among the MBEs. Dr Stephen Darlington, Director of Music and Tutor in music at Christ Church, Oxford, and Dr David Hill, a former Director of Music of Winchester Cathedral and St John’s College, Cambridge, were cited for services to music. Margaret Atkinson, who chairs Huddersfield Choral Society, was honoured for services to the Church and the community in Huddersfield.
Valerie Jackson, a member of the Cathedral Council and the Cathedral Archivist of Liverpool Cathedral, and a Lay Canon, was appointed MBE for services to the cathedral, the diocese, and the First World War commemoration.
Also MBE: Christopher Cowls, a long-serving supporter of St Martin in the Fields, for services to the Church and to charity; Dr Barbara Gale, Chief Executive of St Nicholas Hospice Care Charity, for services to hospice care and the community in Suffolk; Dr Nigel Sykes, a former medical director of St Christopher’s Hospice, south London, and a PCC member of St George’s, Beckenham, for services to palliative care.
Those serving in Forces chaplaincy were honoured, including Mandeep Kaur, Sikh Chaplain to the Armed Forces; Claire Little, programme manager for the Armed Forces Chaplaincy Centre; and the Revd Peter King and the Revd Jason Clarke, both Chaplains to the Forces 3rd Class, in the Royal Army Chaplains’ Department, all appointed MBE.
Stephen Addison was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to young people in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. He is the founder of BoxUp Crime, which works to reduce crime by offering boxing sessions and bespoke mentoring programmes in schools and communities. In July, Mr Addison spoke about the inspiration of his Christian faith in a BBC film.
Also awarded the BEM: the Revd Timothy Hurren, Assistant Curate of St Peter’s, High Harrogate, for services to the Church and the community in Harrogate, North Yorkshire; the Revd Janet Jackson, the Chaplain of Tynedale Hospice, Newcastle, for services to bereaved families in the north-east; Henry (Harry) Birch, for services to the Church and the community in Halewood Village, Liverpool; Andrew Burns, Street Chaplain, for voluntary service in Dundee; Barbara Bartlett, churchwarden for more than 30 years of Chipping Warden, Northamptonshire; Raymond Henman, who has served as churchwarden of Brafield-on-the-Green, Northamptonshire; Sophie Trend, who sourced £500,000 in grants to renovate All Saints’, Wighton, Norfolk; and Penelope Phillips, the Voluntary Chair of the Mission to Seafarers, Falmouth.
Other BEM recipients include: Irene Harman, organist on HMS Sultan, for voluntary service to the Church in the Royal Navy; Mollie Rollins, the organist of the Methodist Chapel in Tydd St Giles, Cambridgeshire, for more than 70 years, for services to the Church and the community; and Christopher Trye of Leamington Spa for services to the Church; and Rita Sheehan, manager of the community centre playgroup at Manorfield Church of England School, Leicestershire, for services to children and the community in Leicestershire.
The National President of the Royal School of Church Music in New Zealand, Paul Ellis, was appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit, and Michael McGuire, a gentleman of the choir of Her Majesty’s Chapels Royal, St James’s Palace, was awarded the Royal Victorian Medal.
Volunteer cave divers involved in the rescue of the Thai football team trapped in a flooded cave (News, 13 July) were honoured. Richard Stanton MBE and John Volanthen were awarded the George Medal and Christopher Jewell and Jason Mallinson the Queen’s Gallantry Medal. Joshua Bratchley, Connor Roe, Vernon Unsworth, who mapped the cave system, each received an MBE.
Among the celebrities honoured were Michael Palin CBE, a member of Monty Python and travel documentary presenter who has written of his love of churches (Features, 22 May 2015) was knighted for services to travel, culture and geography; and the atheist novelist Philip Pullman CBE was also knighted, for services to literature. His books are among those explored by Richard Harries in his new book Haunted by Christ (Books, 2 November).