Revd Paul Doick, Vicar at Henfield, scooped Minister of the Year award at the recent Good Funeral Awards which took place in Bournemouth earlier this month. The awards are part of the Idea Death Show which features funeral-related merchandise and services, the show aims to encourage visitors to talk about death and what's available in the industry.
Billed as the 'Oscars of the funeral industry' the Good Funeral Awards 2018 celebrates categories including best celebrant, gravedigger, coffin supplier and funeral florist of the year. It was the first time that Paul went along. He was supported by Canon Sandra Millar, the head of projects and developments for the Church of England.
He said: " I was surprised to be nominated for 'Minister of the Year ' at 'The Good Funeral Awards', in fact until I went to a 'Taking Funerals Seriously' workshop run by Canon Sandra Millar, I didn’t really know what the awards were about. But they are a good thing, recognising great work by all sorts of people who work with the bereaved or serve families at a difficult and sensitive time.
"For me, it’s a privilege to work with families and with funeral directors and whilst I would say that I'm just doing my job it's great to know that a couple of funeral directors have valued my work with them and the families that we look after.
"I see myself as part of their team and so its good that they feel the same. It's difficult to know how an award that not that many people outside of the funeral industry (including most clergy!) have heard of can help raise the profile of the Church of England. But I would say that my hope would be that by winning the awards Funeral Directors, and parishes are reminded that their local clergy wants to serve them, support them, listen to them and work with them when they most need our help."