Two members of Portsmouth Temple of Spiritualism have been honoured with awards for their dedication to the church and local community.
Lesley Bedford-Forde has been awarded the Spiritualists’ National Union’s (SNU) gold award for 50 years’ dedicated service, in celebration of being an integral member of the church’s community.
Furthermore, Jose McDonald, a long-standing committee member at Portsmouth Temple, has also been awarded the SNU’s gold award for her committed service at both the Gosport Spiritualist Church and Portsmouth Temple, which she joined in 1998.
Lesley, whose family were also Spiritualists, has attended Portsmouth Temple since 1961. She has served on the church’s committee for at least 25 years and has been vice-president and president and is currently the membership secretary.
Lesley still takes leads the healing sessions at the church.
Lesley said: ‘I am thrilled to be honoured with this award. I’ve been at Portsmouth Temple for such a long time, it’s almost like a family to us.
‘We are delighted at how the church continues to grow – our healing sessions are a huge success and we’re so happy to help out when we can.
‘We hope to continue our work at the church for many more years to come and would welcome anyone interested in finding out more about Spiritualism to come along to the church.’
Jose came to Portsmouth Temple after serving at Gosport church as a spiritualist healer. She became the healing leader in 2004, taking on and helping to teach the trainees.
She has served on the committee for a number of years, has always been willing to offer her help, and she covered the role of medium secretary in 2004.
David Bruton, president of the SNU added: ‘As the organisation responsible for more than 340 SNU churches around the UK, we are delighted to be able to acknowledge the hard work carried out at churches across the UK, and in this case, Jose and Lesley’s dedication couldn’t go unnoticed.’