URC Yorkshire Synod member to receive MBE in Queen’s New Year’s Honours List

Margaret Atwood MBEA member of the United Reformed Church (URC) Yorkshire Synod has been named in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.

Margaret Atkinson, a retired magistrate, will receive an MBE for her involvement both in the justice system, and for her work with the URC.

Margaret, who served as a magistrate for 17 years before retiring in 2017 and began volunteering with the Church in 1972, said the honour came as a ‘complete surprise’.

‘I had no idea I was being nominated,’ she said.

‘Those that put me forward have been working away for 18 months, contacting all the officials to nominate me. You get all the kudos for achieving what you have achieved, but to put so much love and appreciation into nominating you shows the nominees have gone beyond the call of duty.’

Margaret, also a former bank manager, received formal notification of the honour at the end of November.

‘I thought someone wanted a reference. It was a great shock. Quite overwhelming and very humbling. It gives me a very warm feeling that someone has done this for me.’

Prior to her career as a magistrate, generous Margaret took early retirement in 2000 from the bank she worked at so that her colleagues’ jobs would be more secure.

‘It was time to give back,’ she continued, citing her work chairing the adult and family court, and drugs advisory panel as her opportunities to do so.

Margaret’s voluntary roles within the URC have been extensive. She’s been a district treasurer for Huddersfield and Halifax, chaired the maintenance of the ministry committee, a synod treasurer, served on the finance committee, been a governor and treasurer at Northern College and still continues on the finance committee.

She also enjoys singing and is chair of the Huddersfield Choral Society but has no plans to slow down.

‘I should do actually. I’m getting tired. But, I like working with people. Colleagueship means a lot these days.’