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Aldhelm Crosses Awarded for Outstanding Service

by Gerry Lynch last modified 07 Nov, 2016 12:12 PM

Three local churchpeople honoured with Aldhelm Cross for dedicated church volunteering

Three churchpeople from the Diocese were awarded with the Aldhelm Cross for ‘outstanding service’ to the Church at Sunday Choral Evensong in Salisbury Cathedral. 

The award, named after the Saxon Bishop who was instrumental in bringing Christianity to this part of England, is awarded annually to lay people who have given selfless service to the Diocese over a number of years. 

This year’s winners are Fiona Fox from Steeple Langford, Michael Maclachlan from Marlborough, and Robert Shuler from Kingston Deverill

After presenting the awards, the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury, said, “To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to love God and love your neighbour as yourself. Service is at the heart of what it is to be fully human. Those awarded the Aldhelm Cross have stood out for their willingness to live in this way.

“The Aldhelm Cross is a richly deserved token of thanks from the whole Diocese for outstanding service.

“Churches are at the heart of our communities, in town and country alike. None of them would be able to serve their communities in the way they do without the selfless commitment of volunteers like Fiona, Michael and Robert.”

Notes on those awarded the Aldhelm Cross

Fiona Fox has served her local Church community as secretary of her local Parochial Church Council for many years. She worships at All Saints in Steeple Langford as well as other churches of the Middle Wylye Valley Parish.

More widely, and in a more hidden way, through her professional role as a Psychodynamic Psychotherapist, Fiona has been a wonderful resource to many clergy within the Diocese in supporting their health and wellbeing. Through this contribution, Fiona has made a huge contribution not only to the lives of the clergy, but also indirectly to those of their parishioners and families.

A worshipper at St Mary’s Church in Marlborough, Michael Maclachlan plays a key role in supporting the link with the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, which the Diocese of Salisbury has enjoyed since 1972. In 1983, at the suggestion of Gill Baker, the wife of then Bishop John Baker, a Medical Link was established to support basic healthcare initiatives in Sudan, and now in Sudan also. For 14 years, Michael has been the Medical Link’s administrator, helping to raise the £50,000 or so that the Link expends each year.

In particular, Michael is responsible for ensuring that drugs are purchased and delivered and, with our medical advisors, are being effectively deployed. He has fulfilled this role with the great sensitivity and compassion needed to work in a part of the world where fighting and famine are prevalent and communications can be difficult.

Robert Shuler is a churchwarden at St Mary’s in Kingston Deverill among other church responsibilities. He has served his country and community in a variety of roles from that of an Army officer to Justice of the Peace.

Robert has made an enormous contribution to the life of the Church in the Diocese. Not only is he a churchwarden, but is Lay Chair of Heytesbury Deanery and a Lay Worship Leader. He is currently training to be a Licensed Lay Minister.

Robert has served with distinction as a personal assistant to a former Bishop of Sherborne and continues to carry out discrete projects for the current Bishops of Ramsbury and Sherborne, bringing his organisational and leadership skills to bear on a number of diverse assignments with effective, calm, efficiency and good humour.

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