Skip To Content

Laity celebrated at New Year’s Day service

The Order of the Diocese of Toronto, an award created in 2013, honours members of the laity in the diocese who have given outstanding service over a significant period of time in their volunteer ministry. We give thanks to God for the work and witness of these faithful people who, in the exercise of their baptismal ministry, have demonstrated that “their light shines, their works glorify.” In 2023, the recipients came from the following deaneries: North Peel, Nottawasaga, St. James & Toronto East, and Victoria/Haliburton.

Cheryl Atkins, ODT
St. John, West Toronto
Mrs. Atkins has been nominated by the bishop for decades of exemplary service to God in the Church. Rector’s warden with three different priests, she has provided consistency and guided the parish through difficult transitions. The one who knows where everything is and when everything is happening and who cleans the church so the custodian can take holidays, “Saint Cheryl” is how her parish affectionately refers to this joyfully spirited servant leader.

Joan Baillie, ODT
St. Joseph of Nazareth, Bramalea
Mrs. Baillie has been nominated by St. Joseph of Nazareth, Bramalea for her lifelong witness to God’s presence. For 60 years, she has humbly served with creative courage and a grateful smile as a joyful intercessor, Sunday School teacher, pastoral visitor and FaithWorks parish coordinator. In her own words, “God always had a hand on me, looking after me, enabling me to serve.” She is an inspiring servant leader in her beloved parish.

Mario Bartolozzi, ODT. Photos by Michael Hudson.

Mario Bartolozzi, ODT
St. Matthias, Bellwoods
Mr. Bartolozzi been nominated by the bishop for his extensive volunteer service as a Diocesan Council member, Mission Action Planning and parish transition coach, visioning facilitator and  remote technology consultant. He is active in his parish leadership, working as a churchwarden and serving as cantor, reader and liturgical administrator. His volunteerism extends beyond the church walls, helping in community charities including the Make a Wish Foundation, the AIDS Committee of Toronto and the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation.

Valerie Beasley, ODT
Prince of Peace, Wasaga Beach
Mrs. Beasley has been nominated by Prince of Peace for her faith-filled, enthusiastic service. As an eight-year rector’s warden, she has also served as lay reader, communion assistant, intercessor, children’s ministry coordinator and chorister. During the pandemic, she held the congregation together by organizing services and outdoor worship, and she is the driving force behind the vitality and growth of the parish – a shining example of how to live for God.

Stephen Boake, ODT & Lise Browne, ODT
St. James Cathedral
Mr. Boake & Ms. Browne have been nominated by the bishop for their long-standing consultant work with the diocese. The husband-and-wife team are the creative partners behind Designwerke, a multipurpose graphic arts, design and communications company that has worked with the Stewardship department to brand FaithWorks, Our Faith, Our Hope, the John Strachan Trust and the Bishop’s Company. In providing vital strategic vision for the diocesan context, they lend their time and talents to serve a bigger purpose that they believe in.

Patricia Campbell, ODT
Ms. Campbell has been nominated by the Parish of Minden-Kinmount for her ability to bring people into relationship with Jesus. A 90-plus year faithful member of St. Paul’s, she has held almost every position imaginable as a shining light to her church. Her desire to serve and her sense of what is needed are exemplary. With her love of Christ radiating through her, she is the hands, feet and light of Christ in the community.

Audrey Chan, ODT.

Audrey Chan, ODT
St. Matthew, First Avenue
Mrs. Chan has been nominated by St. Matthew, First Avenue for her many years of service to the church and for her Christian kindness. As warden, treasurer, acting administrator, financial assistant, refreshment coordinator, chorister, greeter, lay pastoral visitor, intercessor and refugee committee member, she serves with quiet, steadfast joy. Her work and guidance have been essential in maintaining the church community through many challenging circumstances, and her presence in the local neighbourhood is known as “You Christians have something!”

Junia Crichlow, ODT
St. Jude, Bramalea North
Mrs. Crichlow has been nominated by St. Jude, Bramalea North for her vital pastoral presence. A lay anointer, intercessor, fundraiser and advisor, she is an in-demand listener and confidante for many. With a long career as a public health nurse, in retirement she is often asked for advice regarding elder stay-at-home parishioners and has more time to spend serving her parish.

Marion Cronsberry, ODT
St. John the Baptist, Norway
Ms. Cronsberry has been nominated by St. John the Baptist, Norway for lifelong membership and service to her church. From early childhood years watching her parents in leadership roles, she was guided by their faith and action and faithfully continued her worship and service with her own family. As the parish’s homegrown historian, she has held many roles herself and is currently lead of the chancel guild and archives.

Gary Davenport, ODT
St. Barnabas, Chester
Mr. Davenport has been nominated by St. Barnabas, Chester for his tireless work in the parish, spanning several decades. As warden and interim treasurer when needed, he also pitches in with HR matters and property items and oversees all construction with patience and professionalism. Always present at Sunday worship services (unless on vacation), he values all voices and is well loved by all members of the parish.

David Finch, ODT

David Finch, ODT
St. James, Caledon East
Mr. Finch has been nominated by St. James, Caledon East for his commitment to serving God in faithful reverent worship, responsible administrative duties, dedicated maintenance of church property and dependable friendship to his fellow siblings in Christ. When COVID-19 lockdown threatened parish life, he procured a diocesan grant for a visual recording system and used his talents to set it up and train volunteers to run it. He is caring and committed to the life of St. James, and the parish is truly grateful for him.

Jean Franz, ODT
St. Hugh and St. Edmund
Mrs. Franz has been nominated by St. Hugh and St. Edmund for her dedicated service to the church and her commitment to her Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Generously stewarding her resources to the parish, she contributes to the church’s work of spreading the gospel. As parish secretary since 1968, she has also taken up roles as lay pastoral assistant, lay anointer, chancel guild member and advisory board chairperson, and in her spare time is a member of the ACW, prayer group and church choir.

Freda Gearing, ODT
St. Nicholas, Birch Cliff
Mrs. Gearing has been nominated by St. Nicholas, Birch Cliff for her dedicated and unwavering commitment to pastoral care and parish life over the past 20 years. As coordinator of the parish pastoral care team, anointer of the sick and lay communion administrator, her life of faith and service is evidenced by her valued ministry and dedication to prayer whenever and whomever it is needed for.

Sharon Goldsworthy, ODT
All Saints, Collingwood
Mrs. Goldsworthy has been nominated by All Saints, Collingwood for her ministries of hospitality, pastoral care and outreach. Since COVID, she has focused on food security in the parish community, exemplified in the Five Loaves program she began as a way of supplementing monthly sit-down community dinners. Serving 100 people as of October, hot nutritious meals are provided to shut-ins, shelters and encampments. An enthusiastic Eucharistic assistant and anointer, her deep spirituality is an inspiration to her priest and parish.

Marilyn Hutchison, ODT
St. Paul, Innisfil
Ms. Hutchison has been nominated by St. Paul, Innisfil for her significant contribution to the life of the parish over the past six years. As rector’s warden, special events coordinator, volunteer screening coordinator and Messy Church volunteer, she is also called “Josephine the plumber.” This woman is the eighth wonder of the world – if she sees something that needs doing, it was done yesterday.

James (Jim) Laking, ODT
Trinity Church, Barrie
Mr. Laking has been nominated by Trinity Church, Barrie for numerous stalwart contributions that have been appreciated by all. When the main wooden church doors were vandalized with a blowtorch last year, he sanded out the offensive symbols and words and stained the doors to make them new. Baptized at Trinity in 1932 and a member ever since, he has tirelessly managed property work inside and outside, sidespeople, security, audio visual presentations and historical church membership records.

Andre Lyn, ODT

Andre Lyn, ODT
St. Joseph of Nazareth, Bramalea
Mr. Lyn has been nominated by the bishop for his tireless and gracious commitment to diversity and learning in our Church. As long-serving chair of the Bishop’s Working Group on Intercultural Ministries, he has led the diocese in learning about its differences and facilitated challenging conversations about its history and present need to change. He is a long-serving warden in his own parish and, true to form, handles all situations with humility, grace and integrity.

Cynthia Majewski, ODT
St. Timothy, North Toronto
Ms. Majewski has been nominated by the bishop for volunteer work with healing ministries and within the volunteer corps, where she brings her RN and University of Toronto-level of quality improvement rigour to coaching and evaluating diocesan grants. She led the Reach Grant tech evaluation team that presented the “Using Technology for God’s Mission” series, co-authored a tech sustainability package and led a new digital ministry working group. She has joined the Nominating Committee, collaborated with the Toronto United Church Council’s Innovative Ministry Centre on project evaluation, volunteered at Synod and welcomed her first grandchild, Jay.

Kimberley Marshall, ODT
St. Monica
Ms. Marshall has been nominated by St. Monica for her many contributions to parish life. Having committed her life to Jesus six years ago, she has become an active participant in every aspect, including music ministry, hospitality, holy hardware polishing and representing the parish as a lay delegate to Synod. When a job needs to be done, she will be there to help out.

Eileen Martin, ODT
St. Luke, Creemore
Mrs. Martin has been nominated by St. Luke, Creemore for her faithfulness and guidance that she offers without judgement in all she does. Former secretary to the dean of St. James Cathedral and member of St. Barnabas, she has worked in several parishes throughout her life and consistently engages in prayer and support of the mission of the Anglican Church. She lives her faith as a humble servant.

Ethel Morris, ODT
St. Paul, Lindsay
Mrs. Morris has been nominated by St. Paul, Lindsay for her loving and willing service to her Lord and Church. In liturgy, outreach, mission, hospitality and education, she has generously stewarded her trained skills and gifts for the work of the Church. A four-plus decades lay reader, enduring seasons of change personally and within the church, she is faithfully committed to ministry for the good of the Church and community.

Marjorie Myton, ODT

Marjorie Myton, ODT
Holy Family, Heart Lake (Brampton)
Ms. Myton has been nominated by Holy Family, Heart Lake (Brampton) for her contributions to parish ministry over the last 30-plus years, many of which she continues today. Liturgical coordinator and trainer, lay anointer, prayer chain leader, choir member, welcoming committee, warden, advisory board member, nominations committee member, and the initiator and coordinator of the Caring and Sharing Christmas outreach program delivering boxes of food and gifts, her selfless dedication has indeed blessed Holy Family and many others.

Ian Paul, ODT
Ascension, Don Mills
Mr. Paul has been nominated by the bishop for his faithfulness to the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, symbolizing outstanding service to Church and community. Faithful to the point of portraying the role nobody wants in the annual Christmas pageant (the Roman soldier), he has served in all parish roles that equally may or may not be volunteered for. Recognized by his parish as a humble, unassuming man who gives of himself quietly, he is appreciated by the diocese for his generous service to our Church.

Norman Savill, ODT
St. Margaret, Barrie
Mr. Savill has been nominated by St. Margaret, Barrie for his lifelong service to the Church as a gifted host and enthusiastic lay reader. A mentor to new leaders, he regularly hosts new parishioners in his home and works to connect the church and community. In recognition of his leadership and encouragement to his parish during COVID, he continues to be an innovative leader in the regional ministry project that explores new ways of being Church.

Valerie Seales, ODT

Valerie Seales, ODT
St. Matthew the Apostle, Oriole
Ms. Seales has been nominated by the bishop for 50-plus years of leadership in parish life and the community. A longtime churchwarden, her business sense and kindness have set the tone for inclusivity, joyous celebration, diligent management and prayerful participation in the neighbourhood. In addition to parish leadership, she is a dedicated volunteer with Toronto Caribbean Carnival, the Henry Farm community association, Hibiscus United of Trinidad and Tobago (Canada) and the beloved Los Ketchos Assos parang band as a joyful singer.

Moira Southwell, ODT
All Saints, Collingwood
Mrs. Southwell has been nominated by the bishop for her ministries of hospitality, pastoral care and outreach. As pastoral team lead, she mobilizes members for home visits and calls while consistently hosting weekly coffee drop-ins and bible studies and a monthly afternoon Eucharist for seniors. Sunday service chauffeur and PowerPoint assistant to her husband Doug, she also acts as an anointer after Communion. Reliable for her plain-spoken honesty and deep knowledge of the congregation, she is guided by her heart for God’s people.

John Sutton, ODT
Redeemer, Bloor St.
Mr. Sutton has been nominated by Church of the Redeemer for his outstanding work as chair of the property committee. He has brought many projects to fruition that have enhanced the beauty and utility of the parish sacred space, as well as serving as a Communion minister and focusing on building relationships. This past year, he facilitated the installation of “When I was sick” sculpture and the restoration of stained-glass windows, both visible signs to the downtown neighbourhood of Christ’s presence in the city.

Timothy Yat-Kwong Tong, ODT
St. John, Willowdale
Mr. Tong was nominated by the bishop for remarkable service to the parish in multiple ministries and as a longstanding churchwarden. Instrumental in the relocation of St. John’s to its permanent church home, he enabled a fruitful transition. He lived an exemplary life in his Christian commitment and humility, showed faithful spirituality through challenges in his personal and parish life, and encouraged and inspired all to grow in Christian virtues and unity. Mr. Tong died of cancer on Dec. 4, 2023. His award was presented posthumously to his family.

Valerie Trutwein, ODT
St. Bede
Ms. Trutwein has been nominated by St. Bede for her ministry of encouragement and support to other seniors. As a 50-plus year neighbourhood resident and parishioner, St. Bede’s has been a haven of peace and comfort, and in turn she has faithfully supported the church and reaches out to its members with care. A former chorister and lay reader, her spirit remains strong and is a bright light of inspiration to others.

Roger Welsman, ODT

Roger Welsman, ODT
St. Thomas, Shanty Bay
Mr. Welsman has been nominated by St. Thomas, Shanty Bay for lifelong service as churchwarden, lay reader, fundraiser, community organizer and volunteer. When he began as a churchwarden in the 1960s, the church hall was built and he became a lay reader, appointed by then-incumbent the Rev. Basil Tonks. In 2006, he again lent his leadership to see the church hall updated into a beautiful new facility that is now home to a Montessori school during the week.

Martha Whittaker, ODT
Christ Church, Brampton
Ms. Whittaker has been nominated by Christ Church, Brampton for her significant, longtime volunteer ministry for children and youth, hospitality, newcomer integration and stewardship development. Using her skills and experience as a former corporate vice-president in the insurance industry, she has mentored and supported volunteers from within the parish and from other parishes and community agencies. She has been instrumental in developing procedures and systems for intentional, integrated and growth-oriented change in the church.


Group photo after the presentations of the Order of the Diocese of Toronto.