All-female Aldhelm Cross recipients

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Nov, 2019 03:08 PM

The 2019 recipients of the St Aldhelm’s Cross given for outstanding contributions to Diocesan Life are all women.

All-female Aldhelm Cross recipients

Jo Woodd, Sonia Woolley, Madeleine Tarrant, Debbie Albery and Carolann Johnson with the Bishop of Salisbury

In a special service on Sunday at the Cathedral, Bishop Nicholas presented the Crosses to Debbie Albery, Carolann Johnson, Madeline Tarrant, Jo Woodd and Sonia Woolley and thanked them for their service to the Diocese and the wider Church.

Since 2005, Debbie Albery, a former police officer, has been PA to three successive Bishops of Sherborne and, in that role, a linchpin in the See of Sherborne. But her work for the Church doesn't end there - Debbie also serves her local Church as a Lay Worship Leader, a Lay Pastoral Assistant and Deanery Synod representative.

She has served as Clerk to a number of Diocesan committees and is the repository of knowledge of all things Dorset in the Diocese. Debbie is retiring from her Diocesan role at the end of this year.

Carolann Johnson has been worked in Diocesan Church House as PA to several Diocesan Secretaries, Secretary to the Diocesan Advisory Committee and most recently as Clerk to the Wiltshire and Dorset Deaf and Hard of Hearing Churches Trust.

The objects of the Trust are to assist in every way possible the spiritual, moral, educational and physical needs of deaf and hard of hearing people within the Diocese of Salisbury and the Deanery of Swindon in the Diocese of Bristol, and to promote greater awareness of deafness and hearing impairment.

The Clerk plays a key role in helping the Trust to achieve its objects, including nationally pioneering work such as the appointment of the Revd Neil Robinson, who is deaf from birth, as Chaplain.

Madeleine Tarrant is to be found among the contributors to many projects in the Diocese, such as the Salisbury Court Café, and the Salisbury Women’s Refuge where she served as Mothers’ Union representative on the board of trustees during a time of considerable turbulence and change.

Madeleine has also played a major role in raising funds for the diocese’s medical link with South Sudan and Sudan through the annual Sudan Fête.

Jo Woodd's award is made primarily in recognition of her pioneering work (and that of the volunteers from Mothers’ Union whom she co-ordinates) for the Salisbury Court Café which provides light refreshments at modest cost to users of the court.

The project has been so successful that its seed finance was repaid within a very short period of time and is now held up as an inspiration and exemplar for other similar projects. The café’s surplus of income over expenditure is applied to charitable causes within the criminal justice system.

Sonia Woolley is Scholar in Residence at Sarum College, specialising in voice and presentation skills.

She is also a tutor to the College of Preachers and over the last 50 years plus, legion clergy passing through the Sarum College’s Formation in Ministry Centre (and its predecessors, the Southern Theological Education and Training Scheme, the Southern Dioceses Ministerial Training Scheme and Salisbury and Wells Theological College) have been helped by Sonia to improve their singing or public speaking, something for which their congregations have particular reason to be grateful.

Bishop Nicholas said:

"These five recipients have used their gifts to do good and go the extra miles over many years. They have served others in many and varied ways. I am delighted to award them a Aldhelm Cross in recognition of their outstanding service."

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