WHAT do you get if you cross a bishop, a buffalo and a busload of Fortonites?
It sounds like a bad joke, but the answer is, a great occasion.
Recently, two members of our church, Linda and John Green, were among 10 people from around Portsmouth diocese to be presented with a St Thomas Award by the Bishop.
It is given for faithful service to the church and the wider community.
Linda and John certainly deserve their awards.
John has served the parish for many years in various capacities, and is also active in the local area, particularly through the Buffaloes, a community fundraising organisation.
Meanwhile, Linda has cared for and supported hundreds of local children as a Rainbow leader and Sunday School teacher.
And both of them have been faithful in all the little tasks that keep a church running – from washing linen to fixing loos.
Sadly, Linda’s health prevented her from attending the award ceremony in the cathedral, but John was there representing them both – and of course, we were there to support them.
In our usual way, the St John’s congregation was quiet, refined and subtle.
Well, okay, we waved flags, took helium balloons, sounded party hooters and generally made a lot of noise and fuss.
I think John was a bit embarrassed by all the attention, but I don’t regret it for a moment.
People like John and Linda are the backbones of any community or organisation – they don’t seek the limelight, they don’t want glory or power, they just quietly get on with the things that need to be done.
In a world which often seems a bit obsessed with celebrity, sometimes it’s right to shine the spotlight on the folk behind the scenes whose little acts of kindness add up to a real difference in our communities.
So, here’s a message for Linda and John, and everyone else who makes a difference without making a fuss.
You might not seek the limelight, but you deserve it. Thank you.
We love you – and we’re not afraid to show it!
n St John’s Church, Forton Road, Gosport, PO12 4TQ.Sunday service is 10am Mass. Go to fortonchurch.org.
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