Honours for services to the Church
Eight new Honorary Canons have been announced and will be installed at Oxford’s Christ Church Cathedral at a special ceremony in June. In the same ceremony, three people will be admitted to the Order of St Frideswide.
Canons are selected because of their work within the Diocese of Oxford and the wider Church. Similarly, the Order of St Frideswide is a recognition of those who have given outstanding service to the Church. The order is named after the patron saint of Oxford and was founded in 2001 by the then Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Richard Harries. Just two or three people are admitted each year.
The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, the Bishop of Oxford, said:
“We are hugely blessed in this diocese to have so many people, lay and ordained, who do so much in their churches, their communities, and beyond. I am delighted that this service allows us to say thank you to some of those people for the outstanding work they have done and are doing to make a difference, especially over the last year which has, for so many, been a difficult time.”
The Revd John Tattersall
John had a successful career in London as a chartered accountant, rising to be a senior partner at PwC before receiving a call to ordination. He was ordained as a deacon in 2007 at the age of 55 and as priest the following year: since then he has served as a self-supporting minister in the Wykeham Benefice in north Oxfordshire and was vocations adviser in the Deddington Deanery before becoming Chair of the Oxford Diocesan Board of Finance in 2013. He also has Permission to Officiate in the Diocese of London. He was for many years treasurer and latterly Chair of Council of St Augustine’s College of Theology (formerly the South East Institute for Theological Education) where he originally trained for ordination. He has been chair of the Court of Trustees of the Royal Foundation of St Katharine, based in the East End of London, since 2012 and is a trustee of the Community of St Anselm at Lambeth Palace.
“I was delighted to be nominated as an honorary canon of Christ Church, the cathedral in which I was first ordained as a deacon in 2007. While my ministry as deacon and priest and my service to the diocese more generally were primarily in response to God’s calling and have always been immensely fulfilling in themselves, it is very comforting to know that they have been appreciated.”
The Revd Dr Sally Welch
Sally has been a parish priest in the Diocese of Oxford for over 20 years, serving in both city and rural parishes in a variety of posts, including that of area dean of Chipping Norton. She is currently the vicar of Charlbury with Shorthampton and diocesan spirituality adviser. She is the author of several books on aspects of ‘outdoor spirituality’, such as outdoor church, pilgrimage and labyrinths. As well as working with the Christ Church Cathedral Centre for Christian Pilgrimage she also helps schools and churches explore how pilgrimage spirituality can be used in their particular settings.
“I feel very privileged to be ministering in the Diocese of Oxford and am grateful for the opportunities I have of serving both the local and the wider church.”
The Revd Richard Lamey
Richard has been the rector of the Parish of St Paul, Wokingham, which also includes St Nicholas, Emmbrook and Woosehill Church (an LEP), since 2012. He is also the Area Dean of Sonning and was Acting Associate Archdeacon of Berkshire for 12 months, until September 2020. Brought up in south Manchester, the first decade of his ministry was spent in the Diocese of Chester, where he was Vicar of Newton with Flowery Field and Rural Dean of Mottram. He is a young vocations advisor for the archdeaconry and a member of Bishop’s Council and Diocesan Synod. He enjoys reading, running, following American football and walking his border collie Bramble.
The Revd Val Plumb
Val has served in the Diocese of Oxford for the last six years and currently holds three positions; temporary oversight Pastoral Priest for the Parish of Stowe, Interim Rural Dean for the Mursley Deanery, and Area Dean for Rural Mission and Development, where she works closely with the area team overseeing strategic mission across rural north Bucks. She is also a member of the DAC, Diocesan Synod and the General Synod and represents the diocese on a number of national rural groups.
“It was a massive surprise when I was told of my appointment, and I feel incredibly moved by it. I have really enjoyed ministering in the diocese and have worked alongside some incredible people.
“Throughout every sphere of my work I have found an opportunity to explore real rural mission and ministry and discover joy, hope and promise even alongside some real challenges. I look forward to spending many more years serving Christ and my brothers and sisters in this corner of the Kingdom!”
The Revd Dave Bull
Dave is married to Helen and they have three children. He has lived in Worcester, Oxford, London and Reigate. Dave came to faith in his mid-20s. He worked for Unilever, a charity in south west London, and a large London church before training for his ordination. Having served as a curate in Reigate, he has been team rector of the 4U Team in Marlow since 2012 and area dean of Wycombe Deanery since 2016.
“It is a great honour to be asked to be an honorary canon of Christ Church – and also a great surprise! There are so many people in my home parish and deanery who deserve recognition for their service and who inspire me every week as we work together. Without them I wouldn’t be able to do any of my roles. This honour is a tribute to them – they know who they are! – and as I receive it, I look forward to a new role playing my part in the life of the cathedral.”
The Revd Mark Bennet
Mark has been Team Rector of Thatcham since September 2001 and was Area Dean of Newbury from April 2015 to April 2020. For much of that time, he has been member of Oxford Diocesan Synod and the Diocesan Board of Education and is currently serving on the Common Vision Task Force and as LLF facilitator for the Reading episcopal area. In the wider church, Mark was on the committee of WATCH until 2018 and remains a trustee of the British and Irish Association for Practical Theology.
“My ordained ministry has had a determined focus on parish life – in Leeds and Harlow before moving to Thatcham – with a strong focus on links with the local community and working to serve the community in the mode of a 21st-century parish church. This focus led naturally to involvement with schools, and I wanted somehow to give all those young people a sense of what being a Christian could be – of living a life conscious of the love of God shown to us in Jesus. The scale of such work can be daunting unless we root it in the grace of God.
“Being appointed honorary canon is a great encouragement personally in the face of such challenges, but it also means a lot to me, and I hope also to my colleagues, that the ministry of a parish priest is being recognised in this way.”
The Revd Charles Chadwick
Charles was brought up in south Oxfordshire. Ordained in 1988, he served in a wide range of parishes in both Buckinghamshire and Somerset. Since 2014, he has been a member of the Mission and Ministry department as the Parish Development Adviser for the Dorchester archdeaconry. He describes his role as “to facilitate creative thinking”. He is also a member of the Continuing Ministerial Development team and with his colleagues is involved in devising and delivering a wide range of ministerial courses and resources. He is the departmental lead for the rural church and has been involved over the years in a number of working groups and projects to support the enhancement and development of the rural church’s mission and ministry. When he is not working, he spends his time reading about history and politics, developing his cooking skills, and listening to soul and R and B music. Not for nothing is his dog called Otis!
“I was very surprised and delighted to be invited by Bishop Steven to become an honorary canon of Christ Church. It is a great honour and privilege”.
The Revd Janet Binns
Janet is Rector in the Benefice of Hedsor and Bourne End in the Archdeaconry of Buckingham, a role she has undertaken for the past eight years. Prior to this, Janet held a role as the Diocese of Oxford co-ordinator to the London 2012 Olympics, helping churches in the diocese engage with the mission opportunities afforded by the Games. Janet has been ordained since 2007 and served her title post as a curate at a large evangelical church in Slough, gaining valuable experience in a multicultural setting. More recently, Janet has been involved with helping the diocese respond to anti-racism report from Lament to Action and was involved in the work to appoint a UKME enabler.
Janet is married to Glen, a chef. She has two daughters, Natalie and Victoria, and a granddaughter, Mila. In her spare time, Janet is a reasonable athlete and has completed a number of marathons. As a lockdown challenge, Janet won a place to run the Tokyo Marathon, if it goes ahead in the autumn. To relax, Janet loves reading, entertaining friends and going to the theatre.
“I am delighted to be nominated by the Bishop of Oxford for an honorary canonry of Christ Church. It will be a real privilege to serve the cathedral where I was ordained in this capacity. Although the work I do within my gifting is entirely in service of Christ, it’s lovely to receive this recognition.”
The Order of St Frideswide
Kathryn has held many senior roles in education and was headteacher at Ranelagh School in Bracknell, an 11-18 church secondary school. During this time, she was also a National Leader in Education and worked with schools in the diocese and beyond who needed support. She has served on the DBE several times and worked with five DDEs. Since 2012, she has been chair of ODST, an MAT which now has 38 schools.
She worships at St George’s Church in Newbury, where her husband is associate priest. She has oversight of the work with children and young people, including the annual Holiday Club which welcomes over 100 youngsters. She is a PSO and leads on several PCC working groups. She has also served on General Synod for six years as an elected lay representative.
“I was surprised and humbled to receive the nomination. My vocation is education, and I have always had a passion to serve children and young people and to enable them to learn and flourish both in schools and the church context.”
Jan retired as chief executive of Parents and Children Together (PACT) in 2021 after 13 years’ service, developing adoption support services, establishing the Bounce Back for Kids (BB4K) domestic abuse service and the Alana House women’s community centre. During her time at PACT, 825 children were adopted into loving homes and over 1,000 women and children supported in the community. She has been described as a local, regional and national force for good and an advocate for change and was honoured by the Queen with an OBE in 2017. She continues to champion the work of PACT as well as volunteering support to CEOs of charities, including Growing Hope High Wycombe, based at her church in Downley. She enjoys walking in the Chilterns with her husband Ian and spending time with her three sons, their wives and five grandchildren.
“It is indeed an honour to be admitted into the Order.”
James brought to the diocese his experience as a chartered accountant, finance director and trustee of national charities, including Queen Mary’s Roehampton Trust and Servite Housing, and of service as a district councillor, magistrate and trustee of Dr Radcliffe’s Foundation and the Lower Heyford Relief in Need Charity. James is also on the investments committee of the Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust. A long-standing church warden of St Mary’s Lower Heyford, he serves on his Deanery Synod and has served several terms on Diocesan Synod and Bishop’s Council, contributing to committees concerned with housing, land, finance and investment.
“Service should be its own reward, but working with wonderful people in the Oxford Diocese has always been fascinating and great fun, so being honoured for it, as undeserved as it is unexpected, is an absolute delight.”
Listen to Mark Bennet and Kathy Winrow chatting to BBC Berkshire’s Paul Coia about their awards.