Presentation of the Cross of St Augustine to Anne Sloman
Thursday 13th December 2012The Archbishop of Canterbury has presented Mrs Anne Sloman OBE with the Cross of St Augustine, an award which recognises exceptionally distinguished service to the Church.
At a reception in Lambeth Palace on Thursday 13th December, the Archbishop spoke warmly of the 'significant contribution' Anne had made in her 7 years on the Archbishops' Council. Her insights into Whitehall and the media gained from her years as Chief Political Adviser for the BBC had proved invaluable, he said.
Dr Williams also thanked Anne for her work on clergy terms of service, and for her 'determination and indomitable spirit' that had brought great success in her recent role as chair of the Church Buildings Council. He also noted that she continued to be a 'moving force' in her local church of All Saints Sharrington in the Diocese of Norwich, along with her husband, Martyn. Martyn Sloman was able to attend the presentation, as were their sons Owen and Hywel and daughter-in-law Siwan.
In describing what a great pleasure it was to present the Award to Anne, Archbishop Rowan said:
"I want simply to say how very much I have valued your friendship, encouragement, support, stimulus, challenge and all the rest of it over the years. It’s been a wonderful aspect of this work, in and out of the Archbishops' Council, and I am personally deeply grateful for all that you’ve given."
Mrs Sloman accepted the Award, thanking colleagues and singling out William Fittall, Secretary-General of the General Synod, and Janet Gough, Director of the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division as 'wonderful colleagues, companions and very close friends.
She concluded by thanking the Archbishop:
"Your intellect might sometimes be intimidating, but I have never found your holiness intimidating because you take us with you on your journey. And when you talk about opening us up to grace, you’re the one who’s done a lot of that for me and probably for everyone else here today."
The full citation for the Award follows:
Citation for the Award of the Cross of St Augustine
Mrs Anne Sloman OBE
13 December 2012
For many years, while she was pursuing a highly successful career at the heart of the BBC, Anne Sloman, like many other faithful churchgoers in full time professions, worked away quietly and unremarked in support of her local church in London. Over the past decade, however, she has brought her formidable energies, skills and political acumen to bear for the benefit of the Church of England nationally.
As the BBC's former chief political adviser, Anne’s unique insight into the political process and the ways of Whitehall made a significant contribution to the Archbishops' Council over a period of seven years on a wide range of high profile issues. Her experience of the media has been invaluable to the church’s own work on communications. She has been tireless in nurturing contacts and in advising how best to advance our interests. Those who have worked with her in this media arena have found her insights and knowledge invaluable.
Anne made a key contribution to the work of David McClean's landmark work on clergy terms of service and the creation of common tenure. As she delighted in telling her former BBC colleagues, changing things in the Church of England takes time when you are reforming something like clergy freehold which was established by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215.
Most recently, Anne has been an outstanding chair of the Church Buildings Council, re-energising and reshaping its work and that of the staff team that supports it. Her success in securing another £30 million a year for church buildings out of the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in running a competition for new church seating, promoting church art or seeking to simplify the faculty jurisdiction is a tribute to her determination and indomitable spirit.
On top of all this she continues to be a moving force in her local church of All Saints, Sharrington, in the Diocese of Norwich where her husband, Martyn, is treasurer and whose support and encouragement has been the mainstay for Anne during these years of tireless activity and pursuit of objectives for her parish and for the national church.
It gives me great pleasure to award Anne the Cross of St. Augustine in recognition of this outstanding contribution.
The Archbishop with Anne Sloman and family.