Ministry Bursary Awards (MBAs)
Good luck to anyone taking a sabbatical in 2021. Ecclesiastical’s Ministry Bursary Awards for sabbaticals taking place in 2022 will open in spring 2021.
When Sarah Knedel and the team at Holy Trinity with St Andrew’s heard about the Volunteering Competition, they didn’t immediately think of Sharon Blair for one simple reason. “She does so much that it’s easy to forget that she is a volunteer and not a member of staff,” explains Sarah. In fact, Sharon gives over 30 hours of her time to the church every single week.
Sharon originally joined the church back in 1992 and soon set up a children’s group. As more and more families started coming to Holy Trinity, the church grew and grew. Sharon then decided to give up paid work completely and just focus on her volunteering.
Nowadays, a lot of the work that Sharon does is based at the modern building of St Andrews, a community church that serves a nearby housing estate. From helping with messy church to welcoming new families, Sharon is involved in every aspect of church life.
As well as giving her time for initiatives like Family Matters which supports vulnerable families in the community, Sharon is also very good at getting a team together and motivating people. “The competition asked for big deeds or little deeds, and Sharon falls into both categories” says Sarah. She gets to know everyone on a one-to-one basis, but is also very good at heading up big events like the annual community event on the village green.
One classic example is the cake baking. Sharon decided that every week, a family deserving of some love and care should receive something special. So, she has a team of helpers to bake a cake each week which she can then take round to them. Over the years she must have delivered 250 cakes to appreciative families across the community!