St Mellitus Medal awarded for great contribution to parish life
The St Mellitus Medal has been awarded to Mr Dennis Brock in recognition of his long service to St Mary’s Sunbury-on-Thames, the Diocese of London and to the world of bell ringing in London and the Home Counties.
Dennis was presented with the medal at a special service at St Mary’s by The Most Reverend Walter Makhulu, Honorary Assistant Bishop of London and Archbishop Emeritus of Central Africa, on behalf of the Bishop of London. The Mayor and Mayoress of Spelthorne were among the attendees.
The medal is named after St Mellitus, the Bishop of who re-founded the Diocese of London in AD 604 after the city reverted to paganism following the Saxon invasions, and is awarded by the Bishop of London, Richard Chartres, in recognition of substantial contribution to the Christian life of London.
Dennis, who will soon be 98, has been part of the life of St Mary’s for over 95 years and was baptised, confirmed and married at the church. He has also rung its bells for over 85 years and taught hundreds of people to ring the bells over many decades. Captured by the Nazis during the Second World War, he worked as a civil servant upon his release after the war before marrying and having a daughter.
Commenting on the award, Dennis said:
“This is one of the greatest days of my life. I am so proud to receive this medal and am very grateful to the Bishop of London for bestowing this on me.”
Fr Andrew Downes, Vicar of St Mary’s, Sunbury-on-Thames, added:
“It is very hard to find people who have made a singularly greater contribution to the life of an individual parish; and indeed to the world of bellringing than Dennis. This award is richly deserved and long may he continue to bring life and colour and bellringing to this corner of God’s world. All power to his elbow.”
Image (L-R): Cllr Alfred Friday (Mayor of Spelthorne), Mrs Kaye Friday (Mayoress of Spelthorne), The Most Revd Walter Makhulu (Assistant Bishop in London), Mr Dennis Brock, The Revd Andrew Downes (Vicar, St Mary’s, Sunbury-on-Thames)