William Dove, Bob Wyard and Rosemary Harvey
North: William Dove – Holy Trinity, Sunderland
Bill has been caring for the church for 31 years and no job is too big or too small for him. he plants flowers in the spring and summer, empties the water tanks twice a week, cleans up, gives talks and tours, buys refreshments, replaces broken windows and produces flower arrangements to commemorate occasions. He is quite simply amazing! He watches over the church from his flat and comes out in all weathers, at all times of the day and night to ensure that the roof isn’t leaking or if he sees anything suspicious – not a small feat for a gentleman of advanced years. Bill loves Holy Trinity like it’s his own home, and cares for it like family!
South East: Bob Wyard – Oxhey Chapel, Oxhey
Bob has cared for Oxhey Chapel for nearly 20 years and his passion for and commitment to the building are plain to see. He is a fount of knowledge about the history of the chapel and is generous in sharing this knowledge with others, with an engaging and enthusiastic manner that brings stories from the past to life. From acting as the local keyholder and facilitating visits for individual visitors, to organising open days for the community, he is keen to make the Chapel accessible for all. This year, he has organised an upgrade to the forecourt, replanting the beds and providing gravel at his own expense to improve the appearance of the Chapel’s frontage.
West: Rosemary Harvey – St Mary’s, Shipton Sollars
Rosemary catalyses positive change at the churches she finds. Just in the last year, at two sites which have been without support for years, her intervention has led to new relationships with two vicars, two communities of neighbours and two groups interested in using the sites for events. Rosemary also finds a way to make her team feel looked after, either by supporting staff initiatives or by helping local residents accomplish the best they can at a church – even if that’s a question of planting Christmas trees in the churchyard for reuse each year!