South Petherton churchwarden recognised in New Year honours list

2nd January 2024

Steve Harrison, Churchwarden at St Peter and St Paul's Church in South Petherton has been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) in this year’s New Year Honours.

The New Year Honours List recognises selfless service to others from individuals across the UK. 

Steve, who has been churchwarden in South Petherton for more than 12 years, said he had no idea he was to receive the award, he said he was, “Totally gobsmacked” when he was told of the honour and added that he feels the BEM is not just for him, but for all those in his community who work alongside him, “There are a lot of people wo do also do things in the community, whatever I have done, has always been with other people.”

More than 1,200 recipients were honoured this year for their exceptional achievements, with a focus on those who, like Steve, have given with generosity to others. Steve was nominated for the BEM in recognition of his dedicated service as a churchwarden throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the rector was suffering with a prolonged illness. 

“I enjoy being a churchwarden. I do it because I want to see the church flourish. It is all about seeing the church grow and develop. I want people to understand that the church is a central part of the village, so that everyone can see what it offers and what it provides.” 

Earlier this week, Steve spoke to Emma Britton at BBC Radio Somerset about the award. 

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