Voluntary workers honoured by the Pope

Two voluntary workers at an Ipswich church have been honoured for their dedication and long service…by the Pope.

IPSWICH: Two voluntary workers at an Ipswich church have been honoured for their dedication and long service…by the Pope.

Loris Squirrel and Dennis Kindred, both parishioners at St Pancras in Ipswich, received their Benemerenti medals at mass in the town centre church.

The word Benemerenti is Latin for a well deserving person, and the medal is bestowed on people for their special service and contribution.

The medal was first given out by Pope Gregory XVI in 1832 and other recipients include Maria von Trapp, whose story was dramatised in the film, The Sound of Music.

Parish priest Father Francis Leeder said: “They were honoured not just for their service to the parish but especially to the Ipswich community.

“Loris and Dennis represent the hidden group of hardworking folk who quietly do the jobs around the place that keep it up and running. This was a very happy celebration for us all at St Pancras.”

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Mr Kindred, 73, said he had been very surprised to receive the award.

He said: “I started off helping at St Pancras on Tuesdays, then Thursdays and now it seems to be all the time.”

Mrs Squirrell said she was delighted that seven of her eight children were there to see her presented with the medal. The former teacher is a member of the diocesan ecumenical commission, has served on the national committee of the Catholic Women's League and was a governor at St Pancras Primary School in Ipswich for many years.

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