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10th April 2019

Special recognition for two members of Diocesan staff

The hard work of two members of our Diocesan staff teams has been recognised recently in different ways.

Gillian Beeley is one of 100 women from Lancashire who have ‘made a difference’ who was chosen to feature in a new book ‘100 Women, 100 Stories’.

The book was produced as part of the centenary of womens’ suffrage and was written by award-winning Bolton entrepreneur Gulnaz Brennan.

Gillian, from Colne, is PA to the Archdeacon of Lancaster, The Venerable Michael Everitt, and is based at the Diocesan Office on the edge of Blackburn Gillian also holds down several roles in various organisations across the County.

These roles include working for Together Lancashire, a joint venture partnership between the Anglican Church, the Methodist Church and the Church Urban Fund that exists to encourage the faith community to work with other community groups and the public sector to make more impact on those who are challenged by poverty.

Meanwhile the manager of the Diocesan Retreat and Conference Centre at Whalley Abbey, Christine Nelson, received the ‘Special Recognition’ award at the recent 2019 Ribble Valley ‘Stars in Tourism’ Awards.

Christine, from Clitheroe, has been at the Diocesan Retreat, which is set in the grounds and ruins of the 14th Century Cistercian Abbey on the banks of the River Calder, for more than a decade. In that time the Abbey has consolidated its reputation as one of the jewels in Ribble Valley’s crown.

Christine’s citation specifically highlighted her leadership role in restoring the business back to health after the floods which affected Whalley and other parts of Lancashire in late December 2015.

The Diocesan Bishop, Rt Rev Julian Henderson, Bishop of Blackburn, commented: “These two very distinct awards are richly deserved.

“Gillian and Christine are both stalwarts of the diocese in different ways. I thank God for their talents and congratulate them both on being recognized for their hard work.”


Ronnie Semley