Recognised for Exemplary Service

by Gerry Lynch last modified 06 Nov, 2017 02:38 PM

Churchpeople awarded Aldhelm Cross for serving church and community

Recognised for Exemplary Service

Credit: Ash Mills/ashmills.zenfolio.com. Left to right: The Revd Canon Ed Probert, Acting Dean of Salisbury; Sarah Rickett; Rebecca Carson; the Rt Revd Nicholas Holtam, Bishop of Salisbury; Ginny Lighton; Mary Paisey; Alan Neades.

Five churchpeople from Dorset and Wiltshire were awarded the Aldhelm Cross for ‘exemplary service’ to the Diocese of Salisbury 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.

Pen portraits of this year's recipients of the Aldhelm Cross are below.

After presenting the awards, Bishop Nicholas said,  “Following Jesus Christ is about loving God and loving one’s neighbour as oneself. These people have demonstrated their Christian faith in exemplary service to others.

“All those who receive the Aldhelm Cross have given worked well beyond the call of duty for the good of the Diocese of Salisbury and the whole community. The Aldhelm Cross is given in thanks for that service from the whole Diocese of Salisbury.

“The health of our communities depends on the willingness of men and women of all faiths and none to give of their time and talents in selfless ways. I am delighted that so many people from our churches are at the heart of that.”

A full gallery of photos is available on Flickr (no sign-in required) and Facebook.

Notes on those awarded the Aldhelm Cross

Rebecca Carson is the Chief Executive Officer of Woodford Valley CE Primary Academy in the Woodford Valley outside Salisbury.  For many years this has been an exemplary school whose strapline, Towards Christian Life, Learning and Living, has been lived out in the daily life of the school community. The latest Statutory Inspection of Anglican and Methodist Schools Report for the academy recorded that ‘The inspiring Christian leadership of the head teacher gives a clear and decisive approach that is based upon a distinctively Christian ethos. She personally sets the tone of Christian care and concern for others throughout the school.’ Rebecca’s example epitomises the importance that the diocese places on the care and education of children and young people.

Ginny Lighton has lived a long life of service to others through a number of charities and through her jobs.  Her service to the diocese has been focussed on two particular areas: the Cathedral and the Sudans. At the Cathedral, Ginny has served as a guide. She has served the people of South Sudan and Sudan through her contribution for many years of the annual South Canonry garden party and other events that raise funds to support the Diocese’s partnership with the people of those countries. 

Since 1999, Alan Neades has served as Secretary to the Dorchester Deanery Synod. He has also served on the Diocesan Synod for 15 years until 2015, including a spell as a member of the Diocesan Board of Finance. In his own parish of St Mary the Virgin,Piddlehinton, Alan is, and has for many years been, a churchwarden and organist as well as Foundation Governor, cleaner, pastor, worship leader and occasional preacher.

Mary Paisey has served her local community in many capacities over many years but principally as a teacher and as Chair of the Salisbury Women’s Refuge. In the 2011 Birthday Honours list, Her Majesty the Queen made Mary a Member of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her services to the local community.  She has worked with Churches Together in Salisbury and is Chair of the Salisbury Christian Aid Group. 

Sarah Rickett is Director of Learning and Outreach at Salisbury Cathedral.  Sarah may be primarily recognised for her contribution to the education of children through events at the cathedral such as the annual Leavers’ services and major projects such as the Magna Carta.  She is, however, also responsible for areas of adult education and wider aspects of the cathedral’s outreach through the generosity of welcome that is offered to all who enter and the cathedral’s relationship to, and involvement in, the life of the local community and the wider region.

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