Four ‘shining lights’ gain Lundie Memorial Award

Warm, caring, enthusiastic, and talented are just some of the words used to describe the latest recipients of the United Reformed Church (URC) Lundie Memorial Award.

Four-year-old Cleo Ward, from the URC Southern Synod, is June’s winner. Cleo is described as “a shining light in the fellowship of the Church” by Pam Tolhurst, a local church leader at Gillingham URC, who nominated the youngster for the award.

“Cleo is often a busy bee,” says Pam. “You will usually find her either offering the biscuit basket round the congregation, encouraging her best friend to attend the puppet ministry or helping to count the Kingdom Club and youth fellowship money held in the ‘pink pig’ money box.

“The delight of her infectious and warm personality is shown in the faces of Cleo and those she is helping to serve. Cleo is a great example to us all of how to build relationships across the age ranges.”

Cleo said she was “very happy” to receive the award and her mum, Sarah, shared how proud she is of Cleo and how included she feels Cleo and her family are within the church.

Cleo plans to spend her £100 award helping children who do not have toys and will be dividing the money between the charity Starfish Malawi and the Rainbows group she has recently joined within her church.

Well done Cleo!

Amelia Platt, aged 11 from the URC Yorkshire Synod, is May’s winner.

Amelia Platt, May’s Lundie Memorial Award winner.

The Revd Andrew Webb, Minister of St Andrews URC in Skipton, nominated Amelia and describes her as “playing a full part in the life of the church”.

Amelia has utilised her variety of skills and talents in her local church, including participating in dramas, readings, prayers and playing the flute most weeks within worship.

Andrew said: “The pandemic left many unsure of where to turn but Amelia stepped forward and agreed to offer her insights as part of the church’s daily online reflections. Her attitude to continuing to serve God through the pandemic is what has set her apart from others and makes her a worthy recipient of this award.”

A morning reflection by Amelia can be viewed here:

When asked how she felt Amelia said: “Really, really happy.”

With respect to the £100 award, Amelia added: “I haven’t quite decided what to spend it on yet but I am looking at lots of things including messy church.”

Eight-year-old Poppy Dawson-Crabb of Malmesbury URC, in South Western Synod, is April’s winner.

Poppy Dawson-Crabb. April’s Lundie Memorial Award winner.

Poppy was nominated by her minister, the Revd Sarah Simpson, who has witnessed Poppy’s enthusiastic involvement in worship and mission and describes her as making “a hugely positive difference to our church family”.

Sarah said: “Poppy organises craft activities or offers to read during intergenerational services and was a regular on the filmed services produced by her church during lockdown, makes things to distribute to the elderly. She eagerly takes part in anything involving Christian Aid and wrote a poem for “Hope Springs Eternal”. Her beautiful ‘Easter pebbles’, decorated and shared with others, was also well received. She was recognised as the top under-16 fundraiser in Wiltshire’s Ride and Stride and has, together with her mum, instigated Muddy Church in Malmesbury, recruiting her friends to go along.

“She encourages the church in using all forms of social media to reach out to the community.”

Sarah added that Poppy’s “sunny, outgoing nature is infectious and remarked upon by many”.

Lydia Bearne, 18, attends Banstead URC in Southern Synod and she was nominated by Linda Richards, her local church leader, for the March Lundie Memorial Award.

Lydia Bearne. March Lundie Memorial Award winner.

From the start of the pandemic, Lydia recognised the need to support those who were unable to get out and about.

Finding that the people connected with the church already had friends and family who would collect prescriptions or do shopping, she volunteered for another invaluable service.

She discovered that those without email were unable to access the regular messages of encouragement from the local church leader, and so agreed to deliver printed versions to the houses of all those who lived within walking distance, printing them out and walking from house to house in all weathers which continued through lockdown and beyond.

Linda said: “This is of great encouragement to the people and ensures they still feel part of the fellowship of the church.

“Lydia is another very worthy recipient of the Lundie Memorial Award for her thoughtful and selfless action to support the more vulnerable members of her church community.”

Do you know a child or young person who might equally deserve a bit of recognition for the things they do in their church or community? Why not nominate them for the Lundie Memorial Award?

Find all you need to know about the award here.