Issued: April 16, 2016
PICTURE: Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing with (left to right) Freeman of the Town Denys Favre, Townsperson of the Year Canon Rev'd Geoffrey Connor, Epping Town Mayor Michael Wright and Deputy Lieutenant of Essex Michael Chapman CLICK HERE
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing congratulations Epping Town Council award recipients
Epping Forest MP Eleanor Laing has congratulated the latest recipients of Epping Town Council’s Freeman of the Town and Townsperson of the Year awards.
Former Epping mayor Denys Favre who dedicated decades of his time to preserving the town’s heritage received the Freeman of the Town award while retiring Canon Rev’d Geoffrey Connor received the Townsperson of the Year award.
Mrs Laing said: “I’ve been reminiscing with Denys who I’ve known for 20 years.
"Few people have done more for Epping and the area. He has supported so many charities, so many good causes over so many years. He is a great gentleman and I send him hearty congratulations.”
Mr Favre, 98, who recently moved to Leeds had lived in Epping since the 1960s.
His efforts safeguarded Hill Hall, Theydon Mount, from development before he turned his attention to Copped Hall.
With architect Alan Cox, Mr Favre established the Copped Hall Trust and after a nine-year campaign saw the grounds purchased by the Trust.
A founder member of the Epping Society, he campaigned against the M25 cutting through part of Epping Forest and his concerns about the Green Belt still hold true today.
He joined Epping Town Council in 1976 and was Town Mayor in 1980.
Mr Favre and his late wife, Nancy, gave great support to the local British Red Cross branch.
Town Mayor Michael Wright said: “Now that he has moved to Leeds to be near his daughter, their gain is our loss and I am certain we all wish him well.
“I am delighted to honour Denys Favre as a Freeman of Epping and for him to join a very select group who have been honoured in this way.”
Mr Favre said: “I’m delighted to be recognised by the people of Epping after 52 years living in the town. It’s marvellous to have the award and I must thank the Town Mayor and his council for remembering me after all this time.”
Epping Forest MP congratulates Canon Rev'd Geoffrey Connor - "an inspirational church leader" - on his Townsperson of the Year award
Epping Town Council's Townsperson of the Year award was presented to Canon Rev’d Geoffrey Connor who retires later this year.
He came to St John’s Church in July 2000.
Town Mayor Michael Wright said: “Geoffrey has helped to create a community spirit and a focal point for the people of Epping.
“He has helped to make the Church not just a place of worship but a place for brass band concerts, Christmas tree festivals, art exhibitions, horticultural shows and much more.
“He is one of the driving forces behind the Heart of Epping project to create a community hall for Epping to enjoy.
“He gave permission for the Light Curtain round the church at Christmas which could be seen for miles.
“When he retires this year from his very demanding job, he will be missed by so many people.
“Geoffrey’s warmth and enthusiasm is reflected in his sermons, services and everything he does in the community.
“Canon Geoffrey Connor epitomises the type of person that was envisaged by this award.”
Mrs Laing said: “Geoffrey will be missed enormously. Not only has he been an assiduous and inspirational church leader, he has also brought his tremendous wit and infusive personality to enhance every local occasion.
“We were all terribly proud when Geoffrey was made a Canon and I am delighted to see him receiving the Townsperson of the Year award which he thoroughly deserves.”
Rev’d Connor said: “It’s a great privilege to have been awarded Townsperson of the Year by such a wonderful group of people representing an amazing community.”