New Year’s Honours recognise church figures
17th January 2019
Two church figures from the Diocese of St Albans have been recognised in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.
Revd Paula Vennells, Group Chief Executive of The Post Office and Self-Supporting Minister in the Benefice of Bromham with Oakley and Stagsden has been awarded a CBE.
Paula has been honoured for her role in turning the Post Office around from a business which was losing £120m a year to one which is now in profit, her work on diversity and inclusion, and commitment to the social purpose at the heart of the business. The citation accompanying her honour also recognises her work as an ordained minister, a trustee of the Hymns Ancient and Modern charity, which supports hundreds of smaller charities, and a number of other voluntary causes.
Andrew Morton, Reader in the parish of Kimpton with Ayot St Lawrence, received a British Empire Medal for his services to the community.
During his working years, Mr Morton was a secondary school teacher at Onslow St Audrey’s in Hatfield, Townsend in St Albans and Heathcote in Stevenage. His BEM however, is in recognition for his his services to the village and his dedication to Kimpton Primary School where he was governor, (now associate governor) and chairman of the curriculum and community committee.
Andy was instrumental in setting up ‘Loaves and Fishes’ – a community lunch particularly for the elderly – in association with ‘The Boot’ pub.
Andy set up a Kimpton Food Box, which the school donated to each month, to support the families in the parish, as well as a regular community lunch to bring people together, tackling social isolation in the village. It attracted 34 participants and was enriched by his organising schoolchildren’s visits, helping to create inter-generational dialogue and understanding.
When a major flood struck Kimpton in February 2001, Andy coordinated sandbag volunteers, attended multi-agency meetings and produced a newsletter. He was integral to the Noise Project, held each July, when up to 50 volunteers from across the parish, undertake gardening, hedging, fencing, painting, grass-cutting and any other DIY tasks.
Andy, who has lived in Kimpton since 1977, said: “Kimpton is a lovely place to live. It is so friendly and welcoming.”