Cross of St Piran honouring those who do the extraordinary
After a week when Cornwall seemed to close because of the snow and extreme cold, the ice melted, the roads cleared and the Cross of St PIran nominees made their way from across Cornwall to St PIran’s Church, Perranzabuloe. As much as each one was honoured to be given the award by the Rt Revd Dr Chris Goldsmith, Bishop of St Germans, there was probably a part of them that would have been relieved had the ceremonies been cancelled.
For most recipients, when they heard they had been nominated, said, “Why me? There are so many others more deserving – I’m just doing what I love.”
As Bishop Chris said, “I get to see the face of each recipient as they walk up to get their award, hearing what has been said of them, and they are mortified! But these things need to be said, they are not seeking the limelight, or think of themselves as special. But we know they are and that’s why we have this award. To recognise, honour and encourage them.”
Bishop Chris said, “I get to see the face of each recipient as they walk up to get their award, hearing what has been said of them, and they are mortified! But these things need to be said, they are not seeking the limelight, or think of themselves as special. But we know they are and that’s why we have this award. To recognise, honour and encourage them.”
Salt and light
Likening them to the salt of the earth and the light of the world, the Bishop said, “They have listened to what Jesus said and spread themselves out, gone out into the world, their communities and the people of God, and made life for all of us a little bit better.”
Salt preserves and a little can be enhancing and light, when it shines, can be revealing, but, Bishop Chris also reminded us that a lot of salt is bitter and over-powering and a concentration of light can be blinding. “If you asked me if I wanted to see more Christians in church, it might surprise you to hear me say no, not if that meant huddling together. Of course it’s good to come together in worship, and of course I want more people to know the love of Christ Jesus, but we should also all be challenged by the recipients today and go out into the world, spread our salt and light in our communities.”
This year, 18 names were put forward – all serving, all heroes but all unknowingly so. The awards honoured, among others, a tireless supporter who has brought the Fairtrade values and ethos to her parish, to a couple who help their neighbours by volunteering on the local frontline for the Red Cross, to one nominee who has helped countless people be released from fear and debt, and another who blesses with flowers the memory of those who have died.
“As we hear their stories” said Bishop Chris, “And remember all they have done, we will remember the words of Jesus as he spoke of salt and light, “In the same way, let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
“The right response is to thank God for them and be challenged by them. To be stirred up in whatever it is that we can bring to the world, to preserve it, to enhance it, to shed light upon it and show its beauty, its reality. May we all be inspired by these men and women to do our part.”
To find out more about the people who’ve been honoured, click on each picture below to read their personal stories.