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Key pandemic workers honoured in Birthday list

12 October 2020

Kathy Mohan

Kathy Mohan

CHURCHPEOPLE who have supported others during the pandemic have been named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, published last Friday evening.

The list is usually published in June, to coincide with the Queen’s official birthday, but its announcement was postponed this year to enable those who had specially contributed during the pandemic to be recognised.

The chief executive of the Christian charity Housing Justice, Kathy Mohan, is appointed OBE for services to vulnerable people during Covid-19. In 2017, Ms Mohan described herself and her husband as “practising Anglicans in a church community with a strong mission to support the homeless” (Back-page interview, 13 October 2017).

diocese of norwichThe Revd Matthew Price

The chief executive of the charity Alabaré Christian Care and Support, Andrew Lord, is appointed MBE “for services to the community in Wiltshire particularly during Covid-19”.

Mr Lord said on Saturday: “With the team at Alabaré, we have made vast strides in helping more and more people in need across our region, giving them the skills and support they need to rebuild their lives. But our work in ending homelessness is not finished. So, whilst the award marks what we have achieved, there is much to do.”

The Vicar of St Mary Magdalene’s, Gorleston, in Norwich diocese, the Revd Matthew Price, is awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) for services to the community in Gorleston, during Covid-19.

In partnership with local voluntary organisations, he led a team of more than 100 volunteers, who delivered 1793 food parcels to 1150 people (including 370 children) between mid-March and the end of July.

“We also delivered cards offering support — via a freephone helpline — to every household in the parish,” he said last Friday. “This was followed up by a programme of door-to-door welfare checks as the lockdown restrictions began to ease, with the support of the local police and [the] Borough Council.”

The Senior Chaplain to the Metropolitan Police, Prebendary Jonathan Osborne, at the funeral of PC Keith Palmer, in 2017

Mr Price said that he and his team had “simply tried to live out Jesus’s command to love our neighbour, which is at the heart of both the Christian faith and my calling as a parish Vicar”.

Amelia Collins-Patel, a former member of the Bishop of Leicester’s Youth Council, is appointed MBE for voluntary services to children and young people in the community during Covid-19. She worked with the charity Project Hope to support 13- to 25-year-olds during the pandemic.

The Rector of St Canice’s, Faughanvale, Londonderry, Canon Paul Hoey, was also recognised for services to the community during the pandemic, being appointed MBE.

Canon Hoey co-ordinated Eglinton Churches Together’s response to the crisis, supporting people who were self-isolating or vulnerable. Volunteers collected and delivered shopping to neighbours, picked up medicines and other urgent supplies, and posted mail. “Contact persons” from Presbyterian, Roman Catholic, and Church of Ireland churches were nominated to stay in touch by telephone with those who were feeling lonely or anxious.

Canon Hoey said last Friday: “I hope the award will be seen as a shared honour by the many who have worked with me for the good of the local community. . . Most of all, it is a tribute to the resilience and generosity of the people of Eglinton.”

A chaplain at East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, the Revd David Anderson, is awarded the BEM for services to the NHS during the pandemic. He spoke in May of the challenges of serving on the front line (News, 22 May).

The Senior Chaplain to the Metropolitan Police Force, Prebendary Jonathan Osborne, is appointed MBE for services to police officers and staff.

AlabareAndrew Lord, chief executive of Alabaré Christian Care and Support

Prebendary Osborne, who joined the Met 11 years ago, has “been called upon to support officers and staff and respond to numerous tragic events, including the Grenfell Tower fire”, the Met said in a statement. “He is the centre of the pastoral, spiritual and religious care within the Met, as well as being an outstanding ambassador for policing.”

Prebendary Osborne provided pastoral care to the family and colleagues of PC Keith Palmer, who was stabbed to death in the Westminster attack in March 2017, and officiated at the funeral (News, 13 April 2017; Feature, 16 June 2017).

“He regularly joins officers on frontline patrols and serves as a volunteer police officer,” the Met statement continued. “He has established strong links with representatives of all religions, both inside and outside the Met, and founded a forum to bring together religious leaders from across London.”

Prebendary Osborne said last Friday: “My role as the chaplain means I’m part of the very sad occasions, like the recent tragic killing of Sergeant Matt Ratana, but also some of the happiest of occasions. It is lovely to be recognised with this honour and be part of the police family.”

Marcia Dixon

The former Clerk to the General Synod and director of Forward in Faith, Dr Colin Podmore, is appointed MBE, for services to the Church of England, as is Canon Timothy Biles, an honorary assistant curate at Sherborne Abbey, in Salisbury diocese.

The Chief Executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Ros Kerslake, is appointed CBE for services to heritage. She has overseen grants to churches, including a share of a £100-million pot of National Lottery funding for large-scale heritage projects (News, 21 June 2019).

The deputy director of operations at the Government Legal Department, Nick Price, who is a churchwarden of St Michael’s, Camden Town, in London, is also appointed CBE, for public service and for services to diversity and inclusion.

The actor David Suchet, who recorded the first full-length audio version of the NIV Bible (News, 1 January 2016), is awarded a knighthood for services to drama and charity.

The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of King’s College, London, Professor Edward Byrne, also receives a knighthood, for services to higher education, as does Professor Nasser David Khalili, a philanthropist, for services to interfaith relations and charity.

The architect Jane Kennedy is appointed OBE for services to conservation architecture. Ms Kennedy was Surveyor to the Fabric for Ely Cathedral from 1994 to 2017, and is working on projects at Newcastle Cathedral and Christ Church, Oxford.

Several people are recognised for interfaith work. They include the founder and co-chair of the Forum for Discussion of Israel and Palestine (FODIP), Dr Jane Clements, a former director of the Council for Christians and Jews (Back-page interview, 4 July 2014), who is appointed MBE for services to interfaith and community cohesion; the co-chair of the Faiths Forum for London, Dr Deesha Chadha, who is appointed OBE for services to faith communities; and a former editor of Keep the Faith, a magazine for Britain’s black community, Marcia Dixon, who is appointed MBE. Ms Dixon is also a columnist for The Voice magazine.

The current publisher and editor of Keep The Faith, Shirley McGreal, is appointed MBE for services to tackling youth violence, knife crime, and poverty. She said last Friday: “Publishing Keep The Faith is a labour of love to inform the wider world about the many achievements and concerns of Britain’s Black faith community. For my work and efforts to be recognised in this way is truly humbling.”

Those honoured for services to music include the founder and director of the Kingdom Choir, Karen Gibson (Comment, 24 July; Podcast, 31 July), who is appointed MBE; and the gospel singer Muyiwa Olarewaju, who is is appointed OBE.

There are also MBEs for the gospel singer Lurine Cato, for services to charity and music; the Christian singer, voice coach, and television presenter, Carrie Grant, for services to music, media, and charity; the conductor and director of music at Trinity College, Cambridge, Stephen Layton; and the soul singer Michelle Wallen (known as Mica Paris).

Dr Jane Clements

The hymn-writer Jonathan Rea is awarded the BEM for services to music in Northern Ireland.

Air Cdre Suzanne Perkins, a lay member of the General Synod, is appointed CBE in the Military Division of the honours list.

The Revd Chris Howitz, Anglican Chaplain in Oman, has been appointed MBE for services to the British community in Oman.

The England and Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford, who was praised by church leaders for persuading the Government to provide food vouchers during the school summer holidays to children who were eligible for free school meals (News, 16 June), is appointed MBE for services to vulnerable children in the UK during Covid-19.

Ian Brown is awarded the BEM for his voluntary service to the Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade in Standish, Wigan; and Tanya Bennett, Commissioner of the Goyt Division of the Girl Guides, is also awarded the BEM for voluntary service to young people in north-western England

The Revd Dr John Thompson, President of the Presbyterian Children’s Society, is appointed MBE for services to Her Majesty’s Forces and the community in Cookstown, Londonderry.

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