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Birthday honour for Stetchworth's Lily Whymer

Lily Whymer (2478964)
Lily Whymer (2478964)

A Stetchworth woman has been recognised in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Lily Whymer, of Cooper’s Close, will receive a British Empire Medal recognising her work for the parish church over the past 25 years.

“The letter came out of the blue and it was a big surprise,” said Lily, “but I am very proud to be receiving the medal.”

Through her role as church warden, Lily who is 71, and a member of the parochial church council, as well as being chairman of Stetchworth Parish Council, had not only been at the forefront of fundraising for St Peter’s parish churchbut also made surethere was a visiting priest covering every service not only at Stetchworth but also in each of the other fiveneighbouring churches when for three yearstheydid not have their own vicar.

In 2013, a renovation projectwhich would see the church re-wired, have new heating installed and its north wall underpinned, got under way. Lily completed all the grant applications to bodies, such as English Heritage,to help fund the work. The repairs cost in excess of £300,000 but according to Lily’s award citation “her determined nature, manner and tireless efforts helped to raise the money.”

She also found the time to commit to the diocesan link project with Vellore diocese in South India. This included visiting India many times with her husband Michael and living there for six monthsto help witha project training village girls to be tailors so they can support themselves.