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Church volunteer Ian recognised for community work

A church volunteer described as a lifeline for the people he helps, Ian Clark has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in the New Year honours list.

For more than 20 years Ian has been at the heart of the pastoral work carried out by St Andrew’s Church in High Wycombe, providing support primarily to the elderly community and beyond. And the 83-year-old shows no sign of stopping! On hearing the news of his honour he declared he would be carrying on providing care and support as long as he was able. 

He said: “My first thought when I received this letter was there are so many more people who deserve it more than I. I simply could not do what I do without the wonderful people who work with me, and without God making things happen. 

“I have had some wonderful experiences and met some fantastic people. This has been a real blessing to me. It was just the right ministry to keep me out of mischief in retirement!”

Ian worked as deputy head at Wycombe Grammar School for 15 years before stepping back to take his retirement. It was then he focussed his energy on supporting isolated and lonely elderly members of the church and the wider community. He established a new Sunday service for those wanting a more traditional service, followed by tea, set up a life group for seniors providing prayer, bible study and support every fortnight and leads a team who visit and call older people living alone. 

Through this work, he has reached other members of the community, advocating for parents who are given housing far from their children’s schools and helping a parent whose children were taken into care.

Simon Dust, Lead Pastor at St Andrew’s, said: “Ian is a worthy recipient of this honour. He has been tireless in his work in the church and community over many years. He also has a real heart for those struggling in the wider community, making a difference to countless lives in High Wycombe.”

Read about clergy who were also recognised in the New Year honours list.

Page last updated: Tuesday 9th January 2024 4:40 PM
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