Rev Heather Widdows BEM

Rev Heather Widdows BEM

- 8/1/2017

Mrs Janet Bowen, Lord-Lieutenant of Ross and Cromarty Skye and Lochalsh, attended a small ceremony in Poolewe on 22 June to present the Rev Heather Widdows with her BEM in Poolewe for her services to the community.

The Rev Heather Widdows is vicar at St Maelrubha’s Episcopal Church in Poolewe, where she was inducted 19 years ago, after working for more than three decades as a teacher at Gairloch Primary School. She was also the first woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest at St Andrew’s Cathedral in Inverness.

She was honoured in recognition of her community work in the area.

She has also been immersed for years in the Gaelic culture of Wester Ross, particularly in the choirs competing in the National Mod.

Originally from London, where she also worked as a teacher, she arrived in Gairloch in 1974 to take up a post at what was then Achtercairn Primary School.

In her introduction Mrs Bowen said:

Heather is a lady of many parts: She is a Teacher by training, and was a Primary Head but there was also Maths, English, Music and Biology coaching for High School pupils, Adjudicator for Gaelic Music Competitions, Singer in Choirs for 40years, Baker - par excellence, Swimming Coach, also an incredibly generous and successful Fundraiser, Scout Leader and Pastor of Gairloch Air Scouts and the ATC. And to cap it all in 1997 she trained to become only the second woman to be ordained into the Episcopal Church in the Highlands.

As a result of this training Heather has been able to deepen her involvement in the Community. Living in this remote part of the Highlands Heather’s open hearted and ecumenical stance is invaluable. She is able to encourage her own congregation in this and also able to encourage links with other denominations as well as with those of no church.

She has made herself accessible to all in this, her, community drawing people to her in times of crisis bereavement and joy.

Her watchwords are inclusivity, forgiveness and love.

Heather’s response to any call is always to go to those in need without delay whatever the time of day or night, or of weather.

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