This year’s Cross of St Wulfstan, awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the life of the Church in the Diocese of Worcester, has been given to Angela Kovacevic, Reader and administrator in the United Parish of Stoke Prior, Wychbold and Upton Warren.
Sadly Angela had been suffering from a long illness and died before the award was able to be presented to her.
Angela was nominated by her parish priest, the Revd Wyn Beynon, for her dedicated years of service in the parish as well as the deanery and diocese. She was the Parish Administrator for many years and as a Reader, led both formal and informal worship as well taking the funerals of many in the local area with compassion, understanding and care.
Wyn said: “Angela knew that she had been awarded the Cross of St Wulfstan even if sadly she was unable to receive it. She had a wonderful ministry and was always encouraging others, with several priests and lay ministers having first been given a ‘push’ by her. As one commented: “Angela encouraged me from being too shy to lead the intercessions to being ordained!” At her funeral, many gathered at an open air service to share laughter and tears and Angela will be long-remembered for her strong faith, energy and commitment. She was a unique character, friend and colleague who was still emailing the PCC with her contributions just a week before she died!”
Bishop John said:
“I was delighted to be able to award the Cross of St Wulfstan to Angela and I’m really sorry that we weren’t able to present it to her in person. She gave many years of faithful service to the parish and had also been involved in the wider Droitwich deanery as well as assisting at diocesan events. Angela’s ministry was very inspiring to others and her legacy will certainly live on through the lives of all those who were influenced by it.”
St. Wulfstan/ Wulstan lived c. 1008 - 1095. He served as Bishop of Worcester under the last two Saxon kings and the first two Norman kings. After the Norman Conquest he was responsible for the dismantling of the old Saxon cathedral and the building of a new one, of which the crypt is the main part still surviving today. He was at once venerated as a saint by the people of Worcester, though he was not formally canonized until 1203. Alongside the tomb of St. Oswald, his shrine was a place of pilgrimage until the Reformation. Wulfstan found a special place in local people's affections. He took his pastoral duties very seriously, caring for the poor and preaching widely. He was famed for his healing and prophetic abilities. He even preached against the slave trade in Bristol, then part of his Diocese, and thankfully managed to end this practice for a long while.