Revd Don Smith, Rector,
St Mary’s Parish Church, Frinton-on-Sea

Awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) - New Year’s Honours List 2022.

British Empire MedalWe were extremely pleased to learn at the end of last year that our Rector, Revd Don Smith, had been recognised in Her Majesty’s New Year’s Honours List.  

Several members of the church family have shown an interest by asking about the background history of the nomination and so we have included in this article the details as follows:-

Don at County Hall

The Citation

‘For services to the Community of
Frinton-on-Sea, Essex,
particularly during Covid 19'

A Parish Priest is not required or expected to be a ‘Community Worker’. It is hoped that a Parish Priest will have some effect on the life of their parish, but community involvement is not to be taken for granted. It is for thirty years of Community Work and Involvement in addition to his regular parochial ministry that Revd Smith has been awarded the British Empire Medal. Revd Don has taken a lead, created and developed a vast array of community projects here in Frinton and previously when he served as a vicar in The London Boroughs of
Islington and West Ealing.
Listed below are some of the main projects mentioned in the nomination for Don’s award:-

Organising Committee – Islington Summer Scheme, London 1991 - 1995

Bishop of Stepney’s Police Liaison Officer 1992 - 1995

North Islington Community Forum Chairman – 1992 - 1995

Ealing, London Arts Festival, 1999 - 2008

Local Millennium celebration events - December 1999


West Ealing Community Theatre, 2004 - 2008Dance School & Internet Café, 2001 - 2008

Ealing, London YMCA, 1998 – 2002

National Television Appearances, 2005 - 2007

Chaplain to Walton-on-the-Naze (Essex) Sea Cadet Corps 2010 – 2015

Chairman of Frinton Mission 2012-2020

Don & Karen

Community Book Box, 2018 - present

Covid 19 Emergency Helpline, March - June 2020

Provision of free meals for eligible children
during the Christmas 2020 School holidays

We wish to congratulate and say a big 'Well Done!' to both Don and Karen for this outstanding achievement and recognition. The nomination report outlined a tremendous body of work spanning over three decades of service under God that has benefitted His people in a variety of different ways.  

David Kidney & Peter Wood (Frinton Churchwardens) - May 2022