Recognising service to the Cathedral, Diocese and County of Suffolk

On Sunday 21 November, two special services take place at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, Bury St Edmunds, to honour 18 men and women for their contributions to the life of the Cathedral, the Diocese and the wider community in Suffolk.

At 10.30am, the Eucharist service will include the presentation of the Order of St Edmund, the highest accolade the Cathedral can bestow which is awarded to those who have demonstrated ‘exemplary and unusual service’. Four members of the Cathedral community will receive this award:  Susan Cockram, Liz Steele, Stewart Alderman and Stephen Dart.

Later, at 3.30pm, six senior clergy and eight lay people will be recognised as canons of the Cathedral. The title of canon is given to individuals, both clergy and lay, who have given particular service to the Diocese.  This year new canons are being recognised for their services to education, health services, the media, music and the charity sector.

“It is a delight to recognise the contributions of these wonderful people, who represent a diversity of skills and experience,” comments the Very Reverend Joe Hawes, Dean of St Edmundsbury. “Their dedication and service help to strengthen relationships and advance the work of the Cathedral and the wider work of the church among the communities of Suffolk and beyond.”

Bishop Martin said, “I am delighted to be installing so many new canons into the Cathedral this weekend as we celebrate the Feast of St Edmund. The new canons span a rich diversity of experience, skills and backgrounds from across Suffolk and we are greatly encouraged by their readiness to offer their gifts for the Church's service and witness in our county.  More than ever, we need to bring together people with different perspectives and experiences to better understand the challenges faced by people in Suffolk. The new College of Canons is one way the Church can do this and we hope this will better equip us to serve the needs of the whole county in the years ahead.”

Both services will be livestreamed via the Cathedral’s Facebook page htere


The people receiving the Order of St Edmund, at 10.30am are:

Mrs Sue Cockram - in recognition of her service as Director of the Friends Council of St Edmundsbury Cathedral and Clerk to the Fabric Advisory Committee, Enterprises and the Harvest Planning Group, as well as her role as the resident Flower Arranger, assistance with the Cathedral’s current archiving project and long and generous service to the Cathedral. 

Mrs Liz Steele - for her many devoted years as a Cathedral Warden, member of Chapter and Chair of the Vestey Memorial Trust, along with her work overseeing the Planned Giving scheme and many hours volunteering within the Cathedral office.

Mr Stewart Alderman - in recognition of his outstanding work over many years as a Cathedral Warden, member of Chapter, lead of the Health and Safety Committee and Chair of Enterprises. Mr Alderman also implemented and continues to monitor all Covid safety measures ensuring a safe environment for staff and visitors. 

Mr Stephen Dart - for his many faithful years serving as keeper of the Ancient Library, a tour guide and member of the choir, as well as his continuous membership of several committees, including the Friends of St Edmundsbury Cathedral Choir and the Guild of St Edmund.

Those becoming Honorary Canons (Clergy) are:

Revd Susan Bates is the Rector of the Benefice of Debenham and Helmingham: seven beautiful rural parishes in mid-Suffolk, where she lives, very happily, with her husband and children and enjoys making the most of the countryside walking their rather over-friendly dog.

Revd Annette Shannon After working as a Sociology and Psychology teacher/lecturer Annette felt a growing calling from God to Ordination. She has been ordained now for 13 years. She is the rector of six rural Churches, an assistant rural dean, and has a number of supportive roles within the diocese. She has a passion for rural ministry and for enabling people of all ages to discern their gifts and talents.

Revd Tiffer Robinson was ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral 12 years ago, serving his title in the South Hartismere Benefice. For the last 9 years he’s been the Rector of Rattlesden, Hitcham, Brettenham and Thorpe Morieux where he is also currently the Rural Dean for the Lavenham deanery. He served as one of our General Synod reps during the last quinquennium particularly advocating for the rural church.

Revd Rufin Emmanuel was ordained on 26 July 1996 in the Archdiocese of Lahore, Pakistan. He has worked in Hospital Chaplaincy in and around London and Essex, before joining the West Suffolk Foundation Trust last year on 1st May 2020 as the Lead Chaplain. His passion is to care for God’s people, to serve them by offering a listening ear as well as pastoral, religious and spiritual support.

Revd Christopher Childs was ordained in 2004 in this diocese having been a Reader for 14 years. Presently he is a Team Vicar in Forest Heath and Rural Dean of Mildenhall. He has a passion for rural ministry and encouraging the vocation of all God’s all people.

Revd Linda Peall Ordained in Durham Cathedral in 2002, Linda has had the privilege of serving as priest and healthcare chaplain in the Dioceses of Durham, Chelmsford and St. Edmundsbury and Ipswich. Linda was appointed Head of Chaplaincy at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust in February 2020. Drawing on the legend of St. Melangell, Linda sees chaplaincy as a ministry of availability and presence, rooted in prayer, where chaplains offer support and sanctuary to patients, relatives, staff and volunteers who need a safe place of shelter in the midst of the demands and challenges of life.


Those becoming Lay Canons are:


Joanna Gunn has been involved in education for 20 years, 10 of these as a Primary Head Teacher. Currently head of St Margaret’s CEVA Primary School in Ipswich, Jo has recently led the school to an ‘Excellent’ rating from the Church of England Regulatory Body, SIAMS; and a National Schools Well-being Award, all rooted in the schools vision ‘Transforming lives by living and learning in God’s love’. 

Jo has previously served on the Diocesan Board of Education for the diocese and is currently serving as a Bishop’s National Advisor. 

Lesley Dolphin presents the afternoon show for BBC Radio Suffolk from Monday to Thursday and has worked on the radio station for most of its 31 years.  She has lived in Suffolk for longer than anywhere else but actually grew up in Norfolk – something her listeners often rib her about, especially those supporting Ipswich Town Football Club!  Lesley lives in Felixstowe with her husband, BBC Suffolk’s breakfast producer, Mark Murphy and their rescue dog Wolfie.  

Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood has been the National Advisor for Giving and Income Generation for The Church of England since January 2019. Jonathan’s team are responsible for supporting churches and dioceses in encouraging giving and generosity. He has worked in fundraising and managerial roles within the charity sector for over 30 years, and most recently was Generous Giving Adviser for the Diocese of Oxford. He was awarded an MA in Applied Theology from the University of Exeter, is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Fundraising and lives in Suffolk.

Roger Wright is Chief Executive of Britten Pears Arts which is based at Snape Maltings and The Red House in Aldeburgh. He was previously Controller of BBC Radio 3 and Director of the BBC Proms.

In addition to his BBC roles, Roger has worked as a freelance writer and broadcaster and in USA as Artistic Administrator of The Cleveland Orchestra and in Germany as Vice President, Artists and Repertoire at Deutsche Grammophon. Roger received CBE in 2015 for services to music.

Mark Sheard Mark lives in Worlingworth with his wife, Lois, and two dogs. He serves as a member of the Archbishops’ Council holding a number of different roles and is Chief Executive of World Vision, the UK arm of the world’s largest childrens’ charity.

Stephen Singleton is the founding CEO of Suffolk Community Foundation which was established in 2005 as a grant giving charity. It is now the largest independent funder to Suffolk’s charitable and community sector. The Foundation is an authoritative voice on local deprivation and social need across Suffolk and uses that information to make the case for local philanthropic giving which is channelled to grassroot organisations across the county. Stephen was recognised with an MBE in The Queen’s 2020 Birthday Honours’ List.

Judi Newman After reading Religious Studies at King’s College London and more than twenty five years in the charity sector, Judi has been the CEO of St Elizabeth Hospice since May 2021. She has a particular interest in community development and the hospice’s relationships with the wider community, including promoting awareness of the hospice’s bereavement service “LivingGrief” and the Compassionate Communities movement, building cultural confidence in talking about death and grief.  Previously, she worked for the Suffolk Community Foundation for six years and have a strong affinity for community work that builds trust and opportunities for all. She lives with her family near Debenham and is an Honorary Fellow of the University of Suffolk, as well as a Board member of the East of England Co-operative Society.

Afrika Green is an internationally renowned drummer currently playing for Pet Shop Boys, Becky Hill, and DJ High Contrast. Whilst touring she completed her memoir which she hopes will give a candid look into the struggles and successes she experienced during her musical career. She is also a columnist for the Bury Free Press writing articles for her local Black lives group and works closely with BBC East helping write content for broadcasts which is more representative of the community. Recently, she spoke at Westminster looking at the impact that Covid and Brexit have had on the live sector of the music industry. Afrika has been awarded funding through the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine to train as a psychotherapist to help other musicians in the coming years post Covid and Brexit.


In addition:

Naomi Gyane

Ecumenical Canon: Pastor Harold Afflu

Page last updated: Thursday 25th November 2021 10:32 AM
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