THE CHAIRMAN of Governors at Bromsgrove School has been honoured for his outstanding contribution to the life of the church and wider society with the Cross of St Wulfstan.
Bishop of Dudley, the Rt Rev Graham Usher, presented Paul West with the award which recognises the contribution of individuals across the Diocese of Worcester.
The former Chief Constable of West Mercia Police has been a member of the Cathedral Council since 2009 and since retiring from policing in 2011, he has taken up a number of additional voluntary roles within the Diocese.
Appointed as Chairman of Governors in 2016, Paul West is also the Bishop’s nominated Governor for Bromsgrove school.
He is chair of the board of trustees at Holland House Retreat and Conference Centre in Cropthorne, near Pershore and the Bishop of Worcester’s Criminal Justice Adviser as well as a founder member of the Diocesan Criminal Justice Affairs Group.
He also represents the Diocese as a trustee on the board of the Rivers Church of England Multi-Academy Trust.
Paul is also a trustee of the Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust, which was the former home of successive Bishops of Worcester over many centuries until 2008.
“The letter saying I was to be this year’s recipient of the Cross of St. Wulfstan arrived out of the blue in December amongst a delivery of Christmas cards,” he said.
“Both my wife and I were at home when I opened it, so she was able to share in my complete surprise and delight, which was highly appropriate in view of the tremendous support she has given to my various activities, both professional and voluntary, over so many years.
In addition to his various voluntary roles undertaken on behalf of the Diocese and the Bishop, Paul is very active in music and charity fund-raising in Worcestershire.
He and his wife Rose have hosted biennial Midsummer Music garden parties since 2008 which have raised more than £20,000 for local charities.
Last June he was the main organiser of a commemoration of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme featuring British Police Symphony Orchestra which raised almost £5,000 for military charities in Worcestershire.
Bishop Graham said: “I was delighted to award the St. Wulfstan Cross to Paul, who gives a huge amount of time and energy to the church in so many different areas.
“The St Wulfstan Cross was established to thank those who have given an exemplary service in the Diocese and there’s no doubt that Paul meets this criterion.”
The award was presented to Paul during a special evensong in the Cathedral for St. Wulfstan’s Day.