Reverend awarded an MBE

PUBLISHED: 11:41 02 January 2008 | UPDATED: 13:07 04 May 2010

The Rev Canon Owen Spencer-Thomas who received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours. Photo: SUPPLIED

The Rev Canon Owen Spencer-Thomas who received an MBE in the New Year’s Honours. Photo: SUPPLIED

THE Bishop of Ely s press officer the Rev Canon Owen Spencer-Thomas has been awarded an MBE in the New Year s Honours List. He received the award for his services to the Church of England and the community in Cambridgeshire. Mr Spencer-Thomas, 67, is als

THE Bishop of Ely's press officer the Rev Canon Owen Spencer-Thomas has been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.

He received the award for his services to the Church of England and the community in Cambridgeshire.

Mr Spencer-Thomas, 67, is also widely known as a news journalist and presenter having worked for BBC Radio and Anglia Television over a 20-year period until the 1990s.

Having become actively involved in voluntary work as a teenager, he has continued to support a range of charity projects for more than 50 years.

"What a nice way to start the new year," he said. "It's a great privilege to be honoured in this fashion. When you undertake voluntary work, you soon become aware that the success of a project is never down to one person alone, but rather the achievement of a highly committed team. There is so much goodwill within the Church and the wider community.

"I remember many generous, committed and deserving people who have worked alongside me and have not had a mention this time round. I share this honour with all those unnamed volunteers, friends and, of course, my family, all of whom have who have supported and encouraged me. I hope to stay as busy as ever."

As chairman of the East Anglian Autistic Support Trust, Mr Spencer-Thomas led the fund-raising appeal and masterminded the £1.5m project for Cambridgeshire's first specialised accommodation and day care for adults with autism at Stretham in 1999.

A parent of two disabled children, he used his experience as an advocate on behalf of other families and assisted in negotiations with local authorities to access the appropriate care and education for their children.

In the 1970s, he was one of the early pioneers of the non-stipendiary ministry in the Church of England, assisting fellow clergy with services and pastoral work. He also founded a charitable trust to assist gifted children and young people in need of additional support for their studies.

Mr Spencer-Thomas was appointed an Honorary Canon of Ely Cathedral in 2004.

Ely resident, Richard Halsey, has also been awarded an MBE in the New Year's Honours List.

Mr Halsey has just retired as Places of Worship Strategy Manager for English Heritage and received his award for services to heritage.

He played a key role in setting up the Inspired! campaign to tackle the problems facing the country's 14,500 churches.

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