Inspiring stories at special St Boniface Award service
“Liz so deserves this medal, she’s helped hundreds like us. It’s just the little things that Liz does that touches the heart of people. She’s our driving force and without her we wouldn’t be where we are today, none of us.”
Christine Hole says when she and her husband were in debt they were saved from taking their own lives by the advice and prayer offered to them by Liz Camp, one of the first people to be admitted into the new Company of St Boniface.
Liz was nominated by her vicar at Exeter Network Church for starting-up a Christian’s Against Poverty (CAP) centre there and successfully helping “hundreds” of people out of debt.
Christine said when Liz and her colleague first came to see her and her husband: “They didn’t judge us, they didn’t expect anything of us, they just listened.
“The peace and the calmness that came into our flat after that… they didn’t judge us for trying to commit suicide, they didn’t judge us for being in debt… it’s been amazing.”
Both Christine and her husband were in the congregation at a celebration service at Exeter Cathedral on November 9, where the nine St Boniface companion’s stories were shared and their medals presented by the Bishop of Exeter.
The Company of St Boniface has been introduced by Bishop Robert to recognise the unsung heroes of Devon’s church communities, the people who have gone above and beyond to live out their Christian faith in their local communities or overseas.
The award is named after St Boniface, who was declared Patron Saint of Devon by the county council in May. Boniface was born in Crediton and is credited with bringing Christianity to Germany.
Bishop Robert said he was delighted to have been “deluged” with nominations for people from across Devon.
During his sermon he said the recipients were like “prisms, refracting God’s light into different colours by serving faithfully in a variety of different ways across Devon.”
He also used St Boniface as an example and said: “If we want to make a difference in this world we have to take risks for God.”
As well as Liz, the other medal recipients were:
Morag Lobley, from Black Torrington, for her work with children and young people.
Brian and Jane Inwood for their vital role in the Diocese of Exeter’s link with the Diocese of Thika in Kenya, including raising thousands of pounds for sustainable farming projects.
Barbara Wintersgill for shaping the way religious education is taught in schools at a national level.
Shirley-Ann Williams for decades of work on the General Synod and at a diocese level, particularly the part she played in the campaign to allow the ordination of women in 1994.
Ron and Linda Wheeler for their integral role in helping reshape Emmanuel Church in Plymouth.
Malcolm Pomeroy, who has been a volunteer at the Cathedral in a variety of roles since 1976.
Malcolm spoke for many of the others when he said he was “thrilled” to have been chosen for the award.
Nominations for next year’s awards will be opened early in 2020, with the medal service due to take place around St Boniface day in June.