Rev Paul Fillery presents David Hope with Bishop’s ‘Bringer of Joy’ award

By Alan Quick   |   Editorial Manager/Photojournalist   |
Sunday 6th December 2020 3:58 pm
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David Hope, left with his Bringer of Joy award with, right, the Rev Paul Fillery. ()

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AT the beginning of the year the Bishop of Exeter wanted to hold a dinner to celebrate those who cheerfully contributed to parish life and Rev Paul Fillery of Sandford decided to nominate David Hope.

Since the dinner was first postponed, then cancelled because of Covid-19, a certificate and gift was sent to each nominee via their vicar.

Paul said: “This is an award from the Bishop of Exeter for those who have acted to bring joy to their communities. David has not only done lots for young people through Scouts and other charity work, but I have seen how he looks out for people in other ways.”

Accepting it Dave said: “I previously did a lot to support young people in Sandford but following a life-changing medical condition, I am retraining as a gardener, and now work mostly for older people with small gardens.

“I enjoy gardening as well as sitting down for a cuppa with some of my customers after I have finished.

“This year especially, I realised the importance of these chats. Even if their gardens didn’t need mowing or weeding when I was due to turn up, I would still pop in for a chat as I might be the only person they would see that day.

“The people of St Swithun’s really helped get me started as a gardener. I joined the volunteer workdays and also cleared the cobbled path in return for donations on behalf of my wife to run the London Marathon for Macmillan.”

Paul added: “It is the many selfless acts of kindness that people like Dave do on a daily basis that makes the community of Sandford such a special place to live in.

“I am so glad to be able to give him this small token of appreciation on behalf of all of us and the Diocese of Exeter.”

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