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Christians from across the diocese recognised in new year's honours list

Date: 03 January 2013
Christians from across the diocese have been recognised for their services to community and charity in the New Year’s Honours list.

Producer of the Life of Christ and nativity plays Peter Hutley, of Wintershall Estate near Bramley was awarded an OBE for charitable services and services to Christian understanding, Guildford Cathedral lay canon Hamish Donaldson was awarded the MBE for services to the community in Haslemere and lay member of the diocesan synod Howard Potter was honoured with the BEM - the British Empire Medal – for services to the community in Shere.

Peter Hutley is well-known for Wintershall’s remarkable amateur theatrical company which performs annual outdoor productions at his home, bringing the story of Christ's life to people through the medium of drama.

The first play, a Christmas Nativity, was performed in 1990 and since then more than 250,000 people have attended productions at Wintershall and countless others have seen the free public performances of Christ’s Passion in Guildford High Street and Trafalgar Square, London over the Easter weekend. Peter writes the scripts as well as directing the productions.

Peter has also supports local charities and founded HASTE, (Heart and Stroke Trust Endeavour) in 2003. Last year the University of Surrey joined forces with doctors working with the charity to research the causes of atrial fibrillation which is responsible for 15% of strokes in an exciting venture with massive implications for improving public health and outcomes.

Hamish Donaldson chaired the Diocesan Advisory Committee - which governs the care of the diocese’s 211 churches and churchyards - for 19 years before stepping down in 2011.

But retirement isn’t a concept he recognises and he is currently chairman of Haslemere Festival (which runs a Festival and another three or four events every year), chairman of Governors at the Royal School, Haslemere, president of the Haslemere Players, PCC member & past churchwarden at St Bartholomew's Parish Church.

Hamish, who was appointed as a lay canon of Guildford Cathedral in March 2012, said: “"There are a great number of volunteers who support the community in Haslemere and indeed all of Surrey, and I feel very honoured to have been recognised in this way"

The British Empire Medal was re-introduced to provide the opportunity to recognise an even greater number of people playing their part to create a 'Big Society'.

Howard Potter, wife of Shere’s associate minister the Revd Judy Potter, was recognised for his work in the village community of Shere where he is vice chair of the CofE infant school governors and holds a number of church offices including treasurer and electoral role officer as well as representing Cranleigh Deanery on the diocesan synod.

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