Five people honoured for services to the Church

THREE people are to be made Honorary Canons of Christ Church Cathedral and two admitted to the Order of St Frideswide in a special service this month.

Honorary Canons are clergy who are selected because of their work within the Diocese of Oxford and the wider Church. The Order of St Frideswide is a way of giving recognition to lay people who have given outstanding service to the Church. It is named after the patron saint of Oxford and was founded in 2001 by the then Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Richard Harries (Now Lord Harries of Pentregarth).

Below is a short biography of all those who are to be honoured in a special service on Saturday, January 26 at 6pm.

Honorary Canons

The Revd Stephen Pullin

Following a degree in chemical engineering, Stephen joined the Tate and Lyle graduate training programme. He spent 10 years in the industry and was part of Holy Trinity Brompton and related church plants before going to Trinity College Bristol for ordination training. He was a curate and a vicar in Bristol, as well as the bishop’s advisor for deliverance ministry. After seven years he moved on to become the vicar of St Mary’s, Reading (Reading Minster). He is also Assistant Archdeacon of Berkshire. Stephen is married to Sarah and they have three sons.

The Revd Verena Breed

Verena’s ministry began as a Lutheran Minister in her native country Germany before she moved to the UK in 2000. She served 14 years in Chester Diocese; first in a second curacy, then as vicar of a rural benefice in Peak National Park as well as chaplain to the Cheshire Agricultural Society and Area Dean. In 2014 she was appointed team rector of Bicester. Verena is married to Jason, a biophysicist; and they have two children. Jacob is in his first year reading astrophysics and Julie is her final year of A-levels.

The Revd Chris Bull

Chris Bull joined Vauxhall Motors straight from school and trained as a machine tool design engineer. He left in 1983 to train for ministry, first at Moorlands Bible College in Dorset and then at St John’s College, Nottingham. He worked for a church in Maidstone and served his curacy in nine rural parishes in Worcestershire. He has been Vicar of Flackwell Heath for the last 24 years, a past Area Dean of Wycombe, Chaplain to Buckinghamshire Royal British Legion since 2006 and Assistant Archdeacon of Buckingham since 2017. He is married to Wendy, a team vicar in High Wycombe and they have three daughters.

The Order of St Frideswide

Dr Anna Thomas Betts

Anna, the

The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft addresses the new Lay and Honorary Canons at Christ Church during the 2017 service.

churchwarden of the Langley Marish parish in the Burnham and Slough Deanery, was on General Synod representing Oxford from 1990 to 2015, voting for the ordination of women both to the priesthood and the episcopate. She has been involved in many national and local Church groups and on the governing body of three theological colleges. She has also been a chair of the diocesan interfaith group, a founder member of the race group and responsible for monitoring immigration centres locally and nationally.

Hugh Boulter

Hugh’s background is in education and charities. He has a PhD in Christian Muslim Dialogue. He has been a member of the Diocesan Committee for Interfaith Relations since its inception, including serving as chair. He has been the diocesan representative at national interfaith conferences and committees. In the Bradfield deanery in Berkshire, Hugh set up Let’s Talk Theology for lay people with termly lectures from speakers including Keith Ward, John Barton, Lord Harries of Pentregarth, Lucy Winkett and Malcolm Guite. Hugh has been Chair and President of Embrace the Middle East. His booklet The Christian Presence in the Lands of the Bible was reissued recently with a foreword by Archbishop Justice Welby for a service to celebrate the contribution of Christians in the Middle East.