Mount Bures volunteer recognised for decades of tireless work at local church

18 June 2018

A remarkable volunteer from St. John the Baptist church, Mount Bures has been nominated for Ecclesiastical’s Little Deeds, Big Difference Awards.

John Cowlin, who will celebrate 75 years of worship at the church later this year, has been recognised by his congregation for the decades of tireless work that he has undertaken at St. John’s. 
As well as ensuring the church is open every day of the year, planning the church music and organising the church’s annual flower festival, the 84-year-old deputy church warden supplies the church with a home grown Christmas tree every year and has even been known to make Communion wine from the fruit in his garden.  
He was nominated by Reverend John Chandler and the congregation in Ecclesiastical’s ‘Little Deeds, Big Difference’ competition, which seeks to celebrate the work of church volunteers across the UK. 
Commenting on the nomination, Reverend Chandler said: “You’d expect me to say that John Cowlin is ‘the salt of the earth’ to us. I would describe him as the kind of salt and light that Jesus calls us all to be. Lots of people work hard in our Church, we work well as a team, and we all love John for who he is – but we want to honour him for what he has done and is still doing. He’d be rather embarrassed to read this, but it won’t faze him. Nothing does!
“John has done almost every job imaginable in Church except take the services! He is ever-present as our Deputy Churchwarden, makes sure the Church is open every day of the year and closes it each evening.
Next weekend on 23-24 June, St. John’s will host its 50th Mount Bures Flower Festival, an event that John, wife Sheila and others organised for the first time in 1969. This year, as always, John will be in church to welcome people to the Golden Flower Festival.
The ‘Little Deeds, Big difference’ competition is open to Anglican churches in the UK and provides a chance for churches to recognise the people who tirelessly devote their time and energy to make a difference. The grand prize winner of the ‘Little Deeds, Big Difference’ competition will receive £10,000 for their church and with a further five prizes of £2,000 available.
Ecclesiastical’s Church Operations Director, Michael Angell explained: “Every day, little deeds carried out by church volunteers like John make a big difference to so many ordinary lives, in all sorts of communities. 
“We have already had some fabulous entries which show just how important volunteers are to churches and their communities, Little Deeds, Big Difference is our way of saying thank you for everything they do and we hope it will inspire more people to volunteer at their local church.” 
Reverend Chandler added: “It is so very encouraging that our insurance company is taking an interest in what we are doing in the community.”
Churches have until 31 August 2018 to nominate a volunteer.  To find out more about this year’s competition, including how to enter, visit