Receiving Pope’s medal was unforgettable

Norma Hoare receives The Benemeienti Medal from The Bishop of Plymouth on behalf of the pope. Ref sh

Norma Hoare receives The Benemeienti Medal from The Bishop of Plymouth on behalf of the pope. Ref shs 05-16TI 0157. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

A dedicated volunteer will remember the day she received an award from the Pope for the rest of her life.

Norma Hoare said it made her go ‘wobbly’ to think she was joining the ranks of the famed Maria Von Trapp in being awarded the Benemereti Medal, which was presented on Sunday by the Bishop of Plymouth.

The 76-year-old was nominated by Canon Paul Cummins for her work looking after the Catholic Church of the Most Precious Blood in Sidmouth until her retirement last year. She served for more than 30 years.

“It was a beautiful day – one I will remember for the rest of my life,” said Norma. “I’ve had cards from people I’ve not seen in a long time. “One friend emailed and said congratulations.

“He said ‘it’s wonderful for you, but also for the parish and for Sidmouth’.”


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The medal is in a box at home, but Norma has a lapel pin that she will wear as a proud reminder.

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