Thirteen new people have been admitted to the Company of St Kyneburga. This Company, created in 2013, is a group of people who have served the Diocese of Gloucester with distinction in a way that many wish to honour.
Members of the Company are nominated by Area Deans, Diocesan Officers and many other people. People are admitted to the Company by the Bishop and receive their badge of membership at a service in the Cathedral.
Here we share a little more about each of the new members and why they have been admitted to the Company.
Susan Beck has served the parish of St John the Baptist, Cirencester, for many decades. In her early days supporting Fr John, she was Choir ‘mother’ looking after the pastoral arrangements for a very large parish church choir. Not only has she served the parish by supporting the choir but she has also continued throughout as sacristan and still organises the rotas for 8am Holy Communion while attending most Sundays in her capacity as a member of the serving team. Her concern for the pastoral work of the parish is second to none. Susan also served on the Diocesan RSCM Committee, first as Awards Secretary, then as Area Secretary, and lastly as Bishops’ Representative. She has been, and continues to be an inspiration to both church and community.
Ann Bourne has contributed significantly to the life and ministry of St Peter and St Paul, Blockley. Now in her eighties, Ann has recently retired after more than 20 years as Tower Captain. She provided tremendous support in the installation of a new bell frame and bells in 2015–2016. She continues to encourage new members to join the team and has rung at many other churches in order to help out with their teams. Ann has also been a sidesperson and organising sacristan over many years, and a regular reader at 8.30am BCP communion.
Jeremy Bourne has served as a churchwarden and PCC member of St Peter and St Paul, Blockley, for 25 years and has been actively involved in various charitable trusts, societies and committees in the village, such as the horticultural and discussion group, and the Heritage Society. Jeremy possesses extensive knowledge about the history of the church and the village, making him an invaluable asset to the PCC. He has overseen two restoration phases and continues to be a supportive and forward-thinking voice for the current PCC.
Peter Cheesman was ordained in 1969 and after a curacy in Canterbury Diocese and six years in the Lowestoft Group of Parishes has been in active ministry in this Diocese since 1981. Three years as Diocesan Industrial Chaplain was followed by Parish Ministry. During that time and in retirement he has led the work of Gloucestershire Churches Together in Civil Protection (Emergency Planning), advising church leaders and coordinating the work of local church communities with the statutory authorities and other voluntary groups. Peter holds the Bishop’s Permission to Officiate in Stroud Deanery where he is a valued member of the wider team.
Nick Hilyer is one of the longest-serving members of the Cathedral staff, arriving from Westminster Abbey to be Head Verger in 1991. Throughout his time at Gloucester, Nick has served the Cathedral diligently and conscientiously. Highlights of his career include a starring role as himself in the TV adaption of ‘The Choir’ and planning/preparing the Cathedral for the Royal Maundy in 2003. Countless services and other events, large and small, have passed through his hands over the years. Many clergy, while waiting to be escorted to the lectern in services, have found him appearing seemingly from nowhere at exactly the right moment.
Sheila Jewell (being admitted to the Company on a separate occasion) was a skilled member and secretary of the PCC who supported ministers at St Barnabas both practically and prayerfully. She was deeply involved in the parish partnership in Kimobwa. She offered all sorts of support to people in the parish, including supporting couples as they prepared for their weddings, talking them through the process, helping to lead wedding preparation and assisting them in filling in forms. She ran the Tuffley Ladies Fellowship for many years and was also an active member of the Open the Book team at Tuffley Primary School.
Richard Lane, a churchwarden of St Mary de Lode Church in Gloucester, has held this position since 2005. He has raised funds for repairs, project-managed conservation and welcomed visitors from all around the world. He possesses an extensive knowledge of the history of St Mary de Lode, making him an excellent tour guide. He is also responsible for taking care of St Mary’s Square and the surrounding flower beds and planters. Furthermore, Richard generously cleans the Hooper Memorial, even though it is not the church’s responsibility. Richard and his wife, Rose Lane, have a pastoral heart for the older members of the worshipping community, and during the COVID lockdowns, they provided pastoral care to several people who live alone by keeping in telephone contact with them and going shopping for them regularly.
Rose Lane has been a member of the Parochial Church Council of St Mary de Lode Church in Gloucester since 2002 and is stepping down this year. She is responsible for organising the rota of welcomers, readers and intercessors. Rose is an exemplary writer and leader of intercessions, which is deeply appreciated. She leads the Marmalade Group, which makes the famous St Mary de Lode marmalade that has raised thousands of pounds for church funds. Rose also supports Richard administratively in his role as churchwarden and is wonderfully organised in that regard. Rose and Richard both have a pastoral heart for the older members of the worshipping community and are great organisers and supporters of parish social events. They both enjoy cooking and have a real eye for making a table look both beautiful and inviting.
Malcolm Martin has served as a dedicated churchwarden of St Margaret’s Church, Whaddon, for 35 years. In that time he was also actively involved in many developments and improvements for the church, ranging from having the vision for the flag pole to be re-erected and gifting the freshly designed St Margaret’s flag, to preparing the foundations for and the building of the toilet and shed block. He has also been actively involved at St George’s over the years, not least in the design and fitting of the superb kitchen in the Centre. He was and continues to be, a passionate advocate for the flourishing of both churches.
Roy McBane has been a member of the congregation at St Christopher’s in Warden Hill for over 50 years; in that time serving as a Reader, Sacristan and as a support to many clergy. Roy has given his time willingly to the pastoral care of the community, visiting the sick and taking home communion to the housebound and, until very recently, has run the midweek church toddler group. Roy continues to be active in leading worship, preaching and taking funerals. He is ever-present at the home group and in his support of the seasonal calendar, ensuring all is prepared and upheld in prayer.
Aileen Powell has faithfully ministered to the parish of Lydney, and especially the community of Primrose Hill, across five decades. She has inspired generations of children and young people in the church, and at Primrose Hill Primary Academy, where she has been a governor and founding member and leader of Open the Book with two Primary Schools in Lydney. As a Reader, Aileen has been integral to the spiritual life of the church, preaching the Gospel in Anglican and ecumenical services, and out amongst the community. Her ministry has been passionate and diverse, evolving and adapting to the needs and cares of the changing community for 50 years.
Janice Robinson was in the process of taking her Diploma exam in piano in July 1987 and was nervous playing in front of anyone. She knew Woolaston Church needed an organist, so offered her services, even though she was a pianist, not an organist, to help learn to overcome her nerves. Janice later attended Alvington Church and started playing for weddings and funerals; she also started a choir. Two more churches were added to the parish, and she continues to play at those also. Janice loves playing for the services, never imagining that she would still be playing after 37 years!
Carol Watts has served St James’ Long Marston faithfully for many years, offering creative and pragmatic leadership as churchwarden, amongst other roles. Alongside this she has been and will continue to be the cornerstone of mission in Meon Vale, helping to found and run the Toddler Group, supporting almost everything that the church does in Meon Vale, and taking on significant leadership responsibilities there. The ministry of the Benefice would be far less effective without Carol’s input and support. She is a huge inspiration to all around her.