Bexley vicar receives accolade for services to the community

There have been double celebrations at Holy Trinity Lamorbey.

Not only did the congregation get to welcome their new curate, Mother Renate Tulloh at the end of September, but their vicar, Fr Mark Blakely, has received an award for his services to the local community during lockdown.

The Mayor of Bexley, Cllr James Hunt has introduced the scheme to help recognise members of the Borough who go above and beyond the call of duty in these troubled times.

Fr Mark came to the Mayors attention after the numerous acts of community service he carried out during lockdown.

Churchwarden Bob King, said: "Bearing in mind that Fr Mark only joined us in December 2019 and that he had only been in post for 12 weeks before the pandemic struck, he had not had much time to get to know people in our congregation let alone the wider parish.

"But that did not deter him from getting stuck in wherever necessary straight away. He has been quite outstanding during these times and so we are so delighted that the Mayor has decided to acknowledge him in this way."

Attending a Sunday morning service, Mayor Hunt listed a few of the things that had won Fr Mark the award including: opening the church everyday, all day to give people the opportunity to come in for silent prayer; visiting every care home in the parish and giving the last rites on several occasions - once to a covid 19 sufferer which subsequently forced him into quarantine.

He also delivered food to elderly parishioners and started a Sunday afternoon service on the vicarage lawn for those people that did not want to risk going inside the church.

Speaking of the award Fr Mark said:

“I am humbled and a little surprised to have received this award and thank the Mayor of Bexley for his commendation. I had only been Vicar of this parish for 12 weeks when we entered lockdown, so the care of those in need really came from everyone in the parish.

"I know that many other priests found that love and care flowed readily from the communities themselves. I hope that my receiving this award can in some way be a shared recognition of the loving presence of the parishioners of Lamorbey and churches in Sidcup and beyond."


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