New Year’s Honours list 2018: Fowlmere community stalwart recognised with BEM

Lisa Turner, who has been awarded a BEM, with her husband Dickon.

Lisa Turner, who has been awarded a BEM, with her husband Dickon. - Credit: Archant

A Fowlmere community stalwart’s work in helping to conserve the village church has seen her recognised with a British Empire Medal in the New Year’s honours list 2018 – which has been released tonight.

Lisa Turner being presented with a Sky Sports coaching award by David Lloyd at The Oval during a te

Lisa Turner being presented with a Sky Sports coaching award by David Lloyd at The Oval during a test match. - Credit: Archant

Lisa Turner was delighted to recieve the honour – and is one of the 1,123 people up and down the country to be recognised for their achievements or service to the community.

The 53-year-old, who is married to Dickon and is mum to Richie and Olivia, told this paper: “We moved to Fowlmere in 1996 when Richie was two and Olivia was a baby and we have really enjoyed living here as an active part of the community.

“I have served on numerous village committees – playgroup, village hall, sports group and while the children were at school in Thriplow I was on the PTA and chair of governors for six years. But right from the start when we moved to Fowlmere, I became part of the PCC at St Mary’s Church and it has been a part of my life ever since.”

St Mary’s in Fowlmere High Street is part of the Four Churches Benefice, which is also made up of St Laurence’s in Foxton, All Saints’ in Shepreth and Thriplow’s St George’s.

Mrs Turner has had several roles at the church – where she is now churchwarden – and hasn’t slowed down despite joining 20 years ago.

She said: “As a building, St Mary’s is central to the village and it is our responsibility to ensure that it stays there for generations to come.

Most Read

“It is a Grade I-listed building and it costs a small fortune to maintain, heat and insure.

“Not many realise that all the costs of running a church come from the congregation and donations – there is no huge purse open to us and so working with The Friends of St Mary’s is a part of my duty to raise funds necessary for the PCC to be able to carry out repairs and maintenance.

“We have recently had a roof alarm installed to protect the lead on the roof and replaced all the worn out external electrics and lights so that the church is once again lit up to those travelling into the village at night. This all cost around £10,000 and, thanks to the support of FOSM and our parish council, we have been able to do it.

“The building is only a part of the church – the people involved are an incredible force of goodwill and together we ensure that St Mary’s, and the support it offers, is available to all parishioners and we work to make the Christian faith accessible to those who seek it.”

Mrs Turner is an administrator for the benefice, and works closely with Rector Rev Angela Melaniphy. She is also the lay chair of the Shingay Deanery and so represents the parish and benefice on the Deanery Synod and Diocesan Synod.

But when she’s not helping out at the church, Mrs Turner can be found either sewing from her workshop at home – where she runs a small business making curtains, blinds and soft furnishings with other ladies from the village – or at the nearby Thriplow Cricket Club.

“I help to run the junior section which has around 150 young players registered and in particular I coach the youngest players,” she told the Crow.

“This used to be seven and eight-year-olds, but as of last season when the Allstars cricket programme began, we now have players as young as five enjoying the game!

“A few years ago I was honoured at the Sky Sports Coaching Awards for contribution to cricket in Cambs, in particular working to encourage girls into the sport.

“We now have girls playing at all levels within the club in addition to a girls league side, a Lady Taverner’s side and a women’s league team.

“Thriplow CC is a great club, it has an amazing group of people young and old involved with it as players and supporters and we all get stuck in to help at Daffodil Weekend with hundreds of cups of tea and cakes flying out of the pavilion and cars parked neatly all over the ground.”

It was Mrs Turner’s friends at the parish church, as well as those in the village community, who put her forward for the BEM honour, which she was so pleased about.

She said: “It means the world to me that the people in my church and community felt strongly enough to put me forward for it. I am humbled and amazed!”