South Cerney Church Picks Up National Award

09 June 2017

South Cerney United Church has been awarded a £2,000 prize after nominations from across the UK were invited for the annual Serving the Community Awards. 

Reta-May Matthews and her Husband Paul, from South Cerney United church, received the award at the Congregational Federation Assembly held in Swansea on Saturday 10 June. The awards, sponsored by national church insurer Congregational Insurance, recognise the efforts of churches that use the energy, commitment and skills of church members and volunteers to establish and maintain social initiatives within their local community. 

By offering a warm welcome and providing its centrally located premises for the benefit of the local community, South Cerney United Church provides a range of activities and services that cover many aspects of living to promote health and wellbeing; friendship and support to all ages and abilities. 

Reta-May, Senior Steward for the church said: “We are very proud to have won this award in recognition of the valuable time that our committed members and volunteers provide. We hope this will further promote our Christian and community presence in the village and encourage others to venture into and share new rewarding experiences. We will use the funds to keep our church premises in good repair to benefit the whole community” 

Over the past 20 years South Cerney church worked alongside Cotswold District Council to develop a vibrant community centre within the village which is used by a diverse range of groups and organisations. This includes the Singing for Fun group; Cerney Seedlings for parents and carers with babies and toddlers; a Strength and Balance class for seniors; holiday clubs for children and many more. The building is also used for a hearing aid clinic, Café Society for carers run by retired NHS nurses; as a venue for local meetings, charity groups and other fundraisers. 

Margaret Slater, Marketing Manager of Congregational Insurance, commented: “We place a strong focus on supporting community initiatives that really make a difference and unite people. I feel this church has embedded itself in village life and provides much needed activities, friendship and social interaction for many across age, gender and cultural divides.” 

Yvonne Campbell General Secretary of the Congregational Federation commented: “The standard of nominations for this year’s awards was extremely high, and each of the 3 churches that received an award today have made a real impact in their local area. We are absolutely delighted that so much impressive work has grown out of local congregations and we’re proud to provide South Cerney United Church with their well-deserved cash prize and hope that this funding boost will enable them to continue this important work within their community.” 

To view short films of this year’s award winners, visit