The Revd Helen Kendrick is made an honorary lay canon
The Vicar of DAMASCUS benefice, the Revd Helen Kendrick, has been made an honorary canon. The award, in recognition of distinguished service to the church, was presented during a service at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford on Saturday.
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.
A lifelong Christian, it was the natural choice for the Revd Helen Kendrick to answer her calling to become a priest following a career in scientific publishing. It was a chance conversation at a dinner party, not long after the first women had been ordained, which inspired Helen to take the step into ministry.
Helen has strong roots in the diocese, having lived here since she was five years old. She was ordained priest in 2000 and served her curacy in Watlington and is now Rector at the DAMASCUS benefice, between Abingdon and Didcot. She has spent time as Area Dean for Abingdon and also took on the role of Acting Assistant Archdeacon for a year. But parish ministry is where her heart lies and is borne out by the reaction of her parishioners to the news of her canonry, which moved her more than the Bishop's letter itself.
Speaking on her installation as honorary canon, Helen said: It was a wonderful surprise, I realise it is a real honour. I never felt called to be anything other than a parish priest. I still wake up in the morning loving what I do and knowing I am in the right place. I am now marrying people I baptised, I have been here so long. Staying put has become something that is important to me, that rootedness and connectedness.Members of her congregation expressed their absolute delight and approval that Helen's service and dedication had been recognised and rewarded.