A MEMBER of St Michael and All Angels Church in Stoke Prior who led the historic building’s renovation and improvement project has been presented with a prestigious award.
Gary Stokes was handed the accolade by the High Sheriff of Worcestershire for ‘great and valuable services to the community’.
Gary led the team which together raised £750,000 through personal donations and grants and the work is due to be completed in the coming months.
It was made possible with the help of charities and trusts, including the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the LG Harris Trust.
The project will see a new pathway to the west door and a glass vestibule with an automatic door designed to give free unaided level access.
It means everyone will be able to enter and leave the church safely.
The High Sheriff’s Award recognises the far-reaching community engagement which was central to the project since the fund-raising began back in late 2015.
The High Sheriff was joined by the Archdeacon of Worcester Nikki Groarke, Rev Canon Wyn Beynon and Rev Paula Honniball.
During a Covid-safe event, in accordance with the Govenment’s regulations, Gary and his wife Catherine were also presented with a cheque and a hamper of cakes baked by several people associated with the Tower Friends.
Guests were also given the chance to see how the improvements were progressing – again in a Covid-safe manner.