Roger Pettit is the sort of volunteer who keeps his church running smoothly – whether with days of unpaid work on a massive building project, or a squirt of WD40 to a squeaky door.
Roger, whose family have been members of Winchester Road Methodist Church in Walthamstow for five generations, has spent five decades serving the church and the local community – most notably in the construction of the impressive new hub which links the church to the halls used by the local community for everything from baby massage, to karate training, to a local club for the blind.
Winchester Road Junior Mission for All secretary Maureen Duncan takes up the story.
‘As property steward, Roger worked with architects, local councillors, church members, and sponsors,’ she said. ‘He made an enormous personal contribution to raising the £650,000 needed, such as taking part in a sponsored swim, trawling the streets to collect jumble, and serving endless cups of tea at coffee mornings.
‘It was Roger who liaised with the workmen, sourced the furniture and fittings, kept everyone updated, and wielded a paintbrush when necessary.
‘He’s also our unofficial caretaker, so if he isn’t on the end of the phone he’s probably at the church, using screwdriver, a can of WD40, or a jet spray. He’s one of those unsung heroes who works tirelessly behind the scenes – the impact of his years of service in the church and community cannot be quantified but it is truly awesome.’
Roger himself said he was ‘somewhat surprised and slightly embarrassed’ to have been nominated for the award.
‘I don’t consider my contribution to be anything out of the ordinary,’ he said. ‘Work needs doing, so I do it. But I’m not the only one by any means. We’re all serving God and the community as best we can.’