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Five awarded for distinguished service to the Church

Four new Honorary Canons are installed for 2023, with the Bishop of Oxford and Interim Sub Dean of Christ Church Cathedral.

Four new Honorary Canons were installed at Christ Church Cathedral and one candidate was admitted to The Order of St Frideswide by the Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, in a service on Saturday 14 January.

The awards recognise the dedication of lay and ordained people to the Diocese of Oxford and the wider church across a variety of areas of ministry and mission. This includes roles supporting theological education in the worldwide Anglican Communion, the deaf and hard of hearing in the diocese, and community organising and church growth.

The Order of St Frideswide is named after the renowned patron saint of Oxford. Founded in 2001, by the then Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Richard Harries, it admits just a small number of people each year. Honorary Canons become part of the Cathedral’s College of Canons, playing an important role and bringing experience and wisdom to promote the life and mission of the Cathedral.

Speaking on the installation of the new Honorary Canons and admissions to the Order of St Frideswide, the Bishop of Oxford said:

“We are blessed in this diocese to have so many gifted people dedicated to sharing the love of Christ. I’m delighted to be able to offer recognition to this group of people for all they have done and continue to do in each of the individual areas they serve. I look forward to seeing more of the blessing they bring to others the mission and ministry of the diocese and the wider church.”

Meet the Canons & award recipients

The Revd Catherine buttCatherine Butt

The Revd Catherine Butt was ordained in 2003 and served her curacy at St Mary’s, Bletchley. Part of the diocese for nearly 20 years, Catherine was Associate Minister at St Mary’s until 2017 and is now the Vicar of St Frideswide, Water Eaton, where she works with a growing team as part of a church revitalisation programme. St Frideswide is one of the designated resourcing hubs in the diocese and is one of a small number of churches in the country that have a specific focus on community organising and church growth. Connected to this work, Catherine is part of the Leadership Team at Thames Valley Citizens, partnered with the diocese through Citizens UK. 

Catherine’s additional roles in the diocese include being Vocations Advisor for the Milton Keynes Deanery, supporting local people in discerning their call to lay and ordained ministry, and member of the Poverty and Inequality Steering Group, seeking to address specific questions of poverty and inequality as part of the diocese’s common vision for a more Christ-like Church.

On her installation as an Honorary Canon, Catherine said:

“I'm delighted and honoured to be made an Honorary Canon - what a surprise to receive such an invitation! I'm grateful to all the fantastic people I serve alongside at St Frideswide's as we have fun, make friends and grow disciples of Jesus. We are learning lots and enjoying the journey as we grow more into our role as a resourcing hub for Community Organising and Church Growth.”

The Revd Canon Catharine MabuzaCatharine Mabuza

The Revd Catharine Mabuza was an Oxford ordinand but served her curacy in the Church in Wales before coming back to Berkshire 14 years ago. As Associate Vicar of Greyfriars, Parish Development Adviser for Berkshire, Vicar of Warfield, and Area Dean of Bracknell, she has enjoyed working with people and churches across Berkshire and the wider diocese. Catharine has served twice on Diocesan Synod and has been very involved in world mission with the Diocesan link with Kimberley and Kuruman in South Africa.

On receiving an Honorary Canonry from Bishop Steven, Catharine said:

“It was a big surprise and a great honour to receive the letter inviting me to be an Honorary Canon of Christ Church, in the beautiful city of Oxford. I love the city and the diocese and am thankful for the many hundreds of people across the diocese whose lives have touched mine over the last thirty years, since I first arrived as a student. I look forward to seeing what God has in store in the years to come.”

The Revd Canon Geoffrey ColmerGeoffrey Colmer

The Revd Geoffrey Colmer was, until recently, the Regional Minster and Team Leader of the Central Baptist Association.  During his last year in post, he was the President of the Baptist Union of Great Britain, his theme being ‘attentive to rhythms of grace.’ Geoff is one of the founding members of the Order for Baptist Ministry. He has a keen interest in Ignatian Spirituality and in ‘retirement’ offers spiritual direction and pastoral supervision. In 2008, he attended the Lambeth Conference as an ecumenical partner, and throughout his ministry, ecumenical relationship has been core, deeply enriching his Baptist story. 

Prior to his ordained ministry, Geoff was a professional musician, playing bassoon in the English Northern Philharmonia, the orchestra of Opera North. He has an abiding love of music and is fascinated by the relationship of faith to the arts. Geoff greatly enjoys baking, cooking, and, with his wife Cazz, visiting Italy.

Speaking on his installation as an Honorary Ecumenical Canon at Christ Church, the Revd Geoff Colmer said:

“It was a delight and an honour to be invited to become an Honorary Ecumenical Canon of Christ Church, and a total surprise. Throughout my ministry I have been nourished by working ecumenically and I’m greatly looking forward to this new opportunity to join the College of Canons and to becoming involved in the life of the Cathedral.”

Hear more from Geoff on BBC Radio:

the Revd Canon Will LambWill Lamb

The Revd Dr Will Lamb has been the Vicar of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford since 2017. Prior to his current appointment, he was the Vice-Principal of Westcott House, Cambridge, training men and women for ministry in the Church of England. Ordained in 1995, he spent many formative years serving in parish, Chaplaincy, and Cathedral settings in Yorkshire. 

Will is an Associate Member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, and a Supernumerary Fellow of Harris Manchester College. He currently serves as the Secretary of the Association of Major Churches, an organisation that represents and promotes major historic parish churches in their mission and ministry. He is also Chair of St Augustine's Foundation, which funds theological education in the worldwide Anglican Communion. 

Speaking on receiving an Honorary Canonry, Will said:

"I am delighted to accept this kind invitation from Bishop Steven. It is a huge honour to serve in the Diocese of Oxford, and a delight to serve as the Vicar of the University Church, where we seek to inspire curiosity about the Christian faith and provide hospitality to many visitors from all over the world.”

Caroline Kallipetis poses with her Order of St Frideswide plaqueCaroline Kallipetis

Caroline is a retired barrister who spent most of her career in the Government Legal Profession, first at the Home Office and latterly in the Cabinet Office where she was part of the legal training team at the Civil Service College in Sunningdale. Since retiring from the Civil Service, she has worked as an independent training and development consultant.

Caroline served for nine years on the Diocesan Synod as an elected lay member for Berkshire. During this time she was also a member of the Diocesan Mission and Pastoral Committee, Buildings Committee, and Bishop’s Council. Over the past ten years, she has regularly conducted Ministerial Development Reviews on behalf of the Bishops of Reading and Dorchester. She is currently Vice Chair of the Oxford Diocesan Council for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and is Lay Chair of Bracknell Deanery.

Caroline lives in Buckinghamshire but worships at All Saints, Ascot Heath where she is a keen member of the church choir. She is married to Michel Kallipetis KC, a busy civil and commercial mediator, and has three adult children and six grandchildren.

On receiving the nomination to the Order of St Frideswide, Caroline reflected:

“I was bowled over to receive Bishop Steven’s letter offering me membership of the Order of St Frideswide. It is a huge honour which was completely unexpected. I have been privileged to serve in a number of capacities in the diocese over the past ten years and have gained so much from the experience. It has also been a great personal pleasure to work with the bishops and other senior staff at Church House Oxford.”

Page last updated: Monday 16th January 2023 4:37 PM
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