Long-serving Iris gets Salvation Army’s highest honour

Iris Jones with Corps Sgt Major Mark Simpson after being awarded the Order of the Founder.

Iris Jones with Corps Sgt Major Mark Simpson after being awarded the Order of the Founder.

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An Easington woman who has dedicated much of her life to the Salvation Army has been handed the highest honour available in the organisation.

Iris Jones has served in the Murton branch of the Salvation Army since the 1940s, and has been a divisional envoy for 32 years.

It’s the highest honour you can get in the Salvation Army, and I’m very happy to get it. It’s a great honour

Iris Jones

To mark her service, for which she has never been paid, she has been admitted to the Order of the Founder, the highest Salvation Army award, which recognises Salvationists who have given significant service. It has only been awarded to about 250 people worldwide.

Miss Jones, from Easington Colliery, said: “It’s the highest honour you can get in the Salvation Army, and I’m very happy to get it. It’s a great honour. I’ve spent most of my life in the Salvation Army, and I really enjoy it.

“I’ve given up a lot of time over the years to do this.”

Upon giving her the award, General Andre Cox said: “She has led the corps with strength of will, determination and almost single-handedly for 30 years, maintaining a busy schedule of activities including public house ministry three evenings a week. She continues to look at new ways to make the gospel attractive and relevant.”

Corps Sgt Major Mark Simpson, the senior local officer in the corps, said: “Iris has been in the Salvation Army all of her life, and has had leadership of this corps for many years. She has been unpaid for all of that time and has given her all, sacrificing a lot to do what she has done.

“She did a lot in the mining strike, in particular, giving out food parcels and supporting the men. This is a great and rare honour, and no one deserves it more than her.”