Every other year, the Bishop of Ely awards The Etheldreda Medal to people across the Diocese whose service to the community is both ‘generous’ and ‘outstanding’.
This year the Award Ceremony will be held during Evensong at Ely Cathedral on the 15th October 2022 (5.30pm), to which all are welcome.
The award goes to exceptional people whose good works haven’t yet been recognised; those who might (in partnership with others) come close to being nominated for a Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. For many people this will be about the duration and persistence of their good works, for others it may relate to a short but extraordinary act of kindness or course of conduct.
About the medal
The Etheldreda Medal has been commissioned by the Bishop of Ely and has been designed by Jonathan Clarke to incorporate the image of his magnificent ‘Way of Life’ sculpture which captivates and inspires so many visitors to the Cathedral. Each medal will be inscribed with the name of the recipient and the date of the Award.
Award recipients in 2022
Nominations for the 2022 Awards were submitted in May [2022} and were reviewed by a panel of volunteers appointed by the Bishop.
We are now delighted to announce the recipients of the 2022 Award, who will receive the Etheldreda Medal at an Award Ceremony to be held during Evensong at Ely Cathedral on the 15th October 2022 (5.30pm).
All are welcome to attend the Award Ceremony, so please do come along to support the recipients if you are able.
Canon James Reveley, Convenor of the Award Panel says of the awards: "My colleagues and I on the Etheldreda Medal Award panel were once again impressed with the quality of the applications submitted this year. Nominations were received from across the Diocese of Ely and represented many who have made an outstanding contribution to the life of their local community and engaged in charitable work beyond their immediate environment, often over a sustained period of time.
Some have been volunteering for the benefit of disadvantaged members of their local community; some have responded to the challenges of the Covid-19 epidemic with exceptional kindness and creativity; some have strived to improve the lives of those overseas or fleeing from their homelands to seek refuge in the UK, but all those to be awarded with the Etheldreda Medal demonstrated a contribution to the lives of others above and beyond the common line of duty.
Twenty awards are to be made this year and they will be presented by the Rt Revd Stephen Conway, the Bishop of Ely, at a special service of Evensong at the Cathedral at 5.30pm on Saturday 15 October. Everyone is welcome to come support the award winners and celebrate their achievements".
You can also read more about the Etheldreda Award on the Diocesan website here.
Very many congratulations to those listed below - who are all recipients of the Etheldreda Medal Award 2022
Julie Baillie has for many years been a key member of the village community in Hinxton: a trustee of the Ann Howsden Charity for over 30 years, and secretary and supporter of the Friends of Hinxton Church for a similar period. She volunteers at the local primary school and raises funds for the Arthur Rank Hospice. Julie has simply been “a source of inspiration and comfort” to her fellow villagers over many years.
- Robert Barnes is a passionate supporter of the Arthur Rank Hospice. His voluntary work as an Ambassador of the Hospice has led to donations of over £164,000 towards providing for people with life-limiting illness or needing end of life care. Robert has also enriched the community through his years as a member of the Rotary Club of Ely and his association with the Viva Theatre, of which he was a founding trustee.
- Caroline Burkitt has, for nearly sixty years, been an active serving member of Grantchester Church – their Treasurer, fundraiser and unpaid pastoral worker. She founded the Friends of Grantchester Church and was, for many years, the Clerk of the Parish Council. During this time there was scarcely a village activity or event that she did not either organise herself, or help with. Caroline is a “loving, caring, devoted and godly person.”
Dr Michael Carr
- Dr Michael Carr, in the words of his nominator, “has exemplified over more than half a century what a life of Christian devotion and service looks like”. A former Choirmaster, Worship and Bible Study Leader, Michael continues to maintain the beauty of the church grounds, to prepare hampers for the needy, send football boots to Zimbabwe, visit the elderly, and volunteer with those suffering from mental ill-health. He is “admired and loved by all who know him.”
- Patricia Chalmers. Pat is friendly, approachable, calm, patient and much loved, both in her church and the wider community. She played a key role in the development and running of CentrePeace, Burwell’s shop and drop-in, enabling adults with learning difficulties to volunteer in there. Pat writes articles for the community magazines and serves as the bridge between the village and the church to which she has given so much faithful service.
- Janet Duffy served as a Foundation Governor at St Augustine’s Junior School, Woodston, for thirty-three years. She has been active in her neighbourhood as one who visits the sick, lonely and bereaved and supports people through times of difficulty. Janet undertakes many practical, sometimes unglamorous, tasks at St Augustine’s church and has been described as the “superglue” that holds the church community together.
- Mercedes Dulson was nominated for the Etheldreda Medal Award by staff from AgeUK Cambridgeshire and Peterborough in recognition of her generous voluntary work as a Telephone Befriender, fund raiser and a supporter of AgeUK volunteers. For several years, Mercedes has brought her experience and positive attitude to the service of the charity and is appreciated for her caring and supportive attitude to everyone.
- Sue Ellington has served her community in various practical ways over many years. She is a long-serving member of South Cambridgeshire District Council but her ceaseless support for community events goes way beyond her duties as a Councillor. She bakes cakes, arranges flowers, provides transport, and supports the elderly, disabled and housebound. Sue has even had time, somehow, to be a Churchwarden and Treasurer. She possesses a true heart of gold.
Jenny (Jennifer) Farnham
- Jenny (Jennifer) Farnham was a Governor with Ormiston Bushfield Academy for 40 years, and 35 with another local school. She is a Parish Councillor for Orton Waterville and a Trustee of Orton Waterville United Charities. She has been District Girl Guide Commissioner and a group leader. A long-standing member of Christ Church Orton Goldhay, Jenny has for twenty years been their Parish Safeguarding Officer.
- Savannah Farrell has been an enthusiastic and effective fundraiser for the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, for Walpole Highway School and for the charities MIND and CALM. So far, she has raised over £6,000 for good causes. It was said of her: “She’s a true asset to the community: generous and a selfless person that will be more than happy to help anyone. The world needs more Savannah’s.”
- Stella Fox is an active volunteer in her church and wider community. Kind-hearted and generous, Stella raises funds for the Ely Foodbank and a Cambodian village project. She was quick to volunteer with the vaccination programme during the pandemic and to join the “Help Ukraine” group. “What I admire most about Stella,” said her nominator, “is her ability to empathise with others.”
- Margaret Johnston has been a member of Great St Mary’s Church, Cambridge, for over fifty years, and currently serves as Churchwarden. Her involvement with the Cambridge Churches Homeless Project has seen her work tirelessly with colleges of the university to ensure that all who attend receive a hot meal. Margaret has a deep pastoral concern for the congregation and the church’s projects in the wider world.
Dr Mike Knapton
- Dr Mike Knapton chairs the Addenbrookes Charitable trust, the Cambridge Medical Society, Cambridge Nurses Charity and the Newton Village Room Committee. He has played the piano for the Newton Drama Club pantomime for twenty-seven years. Mike was for a time the radio doctor for Radio Cambridgeshire. He organises a book club, runs coffee mornings, and is both Churchwarden and organist of St Margaret’s Church, Newton. He is extensively active in the community.
- Rosemary Mead worked tirelessly during the Covid lockdown to reach out to marginalised and isolated people in her community. She has a heart for hospitality and established Messy and Mossy Church for parents and toddlers, a contemplation group for adults (Space to Be) and the telephone listeners team for anyone in need. All this is rooted in Rosemary’s profoundly prayerful rhythm of life, focused on sharing the divine love of God with all.
- John Murfitt, his nominee said, “is a real ‘salt of the earth’ man of great grace and humility”. He is the Parish Council’s ‘go to’ person for free advice on practical jobs and is capable and willing to undertake repairs or oversee projects across the village of Watlington or in the church. A kindly neighbour to fellow humans, John also creates homes for birds and bats. He is a wonderful example of practical Christian faith in action.
Chris (Christine) Parker
- Chris (Christine) Parker “sees a need and just gets on with it.” She made it possible for St Mary’s Church to host Feltwell’s community foodbank and has built up good relations with various other community groups and the church. She visits the elderly and vulnerable at home, listens and provides good advice, supports community fundraising events and is trusted for her discretion and approachability. Chris’ contribution to her community is enormous.
- Kirsty Smith has been Chief Executive of CBM UK for the last ten years. The charity is transforming the lives of people with disability, their families and communities in the poorest places of the world. Kirsty’s influence has been transformative in developing its work, reach and scope. Her generosity and work ethic have led to the improvement of many lives and a greater awareness of the issues facing those with disabilities in the Global South.
Pat (Patricia) Smith
- Pat (Patricia) Smith has been a volunteer for many years with Home Start, a charity for young families in particular need. She has been active for others in her community too, visiting those in need, providing lifts, waiting at hospital, providing ready meals, volunteering at the Covid Vaccination Centre, and working hard in fundraising. She is unafraid of hard work and does it freely in the service of Christ. “Pat,” said her nominator, “is a bedrock of our church and community.”
- Tracy Wollard has been recognised for her servant-hearted lifestyle, her generosity and love of people. She helps to run a community youth group and an after-school children’s club. In her professional work as a Cambridge college cleaner, she is known as “College Mum” to new students, especially those away from home for the first time. Tracy gives people her time and attention, her warmth and love: a powerful demonstration of Christlikeness.
- Adrian Wright has been a Parish Councillor for over fifty years. He is a volunteer at the Waterbeach Farmland Museum, the Military Museum and the Gardening Society. Adrian coordinates the local volunteer transport scheme and is an active member of St John’s Church Waterbeach, the Waterbeach Society and the Gardening Society. “Waterbeach,” it has been said, “would fall apart without him”.
- [Note: Adrian Wright will receive his Award from Bishop Stephen at a later date at a service at St John’s, Waterbeach]