Malmesbury Citizen of the Year 2006

At a ceremony in the Town Hall on Friday July 14th, Henry Wheeler was awarded the title of Malmesbury Citizen of the Year 2006.
A well known figure around Malmesbury, Henry is an ardent Swindon Town supporter, and can be seen regularly on his bicycle in his distinctive red jumper, or helping out with a variety of jobs, particularly at the Abbey.

Henry was born in Sherston in 1940 into a large family. When he was 11, his father withdrew him from school as he hadn't learnt to read and write, believing there were more useful things he could do. He had a variety of agricultural jobs, and at one time was tipped as a promising jockey. However this did not work out, and in time he turned to drink. As he himself freely admits, his life had gone to pieces and he might well have allowed the alcohol to kill him, if he had not heard God calling him, showing him through the natural world around him that there was so much more to life, and telling him to go to the Abbey, where He would find ways that Henry could serve Him.

Since then he has been a fixture at the Abbey, proving invaluable to the staff with the variety of jobs he is prepared to undertake. The most visible of these is the mowing of the churchyard, which he keeps immaculate, but he is happy to help out on any occasion without expecting anything other than a thankyou. In addition he acts as a steward on Sundays keeping visitors entertained with his stories, including how God struck down the old spire with a thunderbolt because the building was being used for making silk rather than as a place of worship.
Henry Wheeler, Malmesbury Citizen of the Year 2006
Henry Wheeler proudly showing his award

At the morning service in the Abbey on Sunday 16th, Henry proudly showed off his award and thanked the congregation for the support he had received from them over the years.

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