A COUPLE who have devoted 20 years to running a spiritualist church in Hereford have received an early Christmas present.
Ray and Ros Sykes have run the Christian Spiritual Church of Tranquillity from Westfields Community Hall on Highmore Street every Sunday for two decades, rarely missing a service in all that time.
Now they have been thanked for their efforts after church member Joanne Price nominated them for the Hereford Times/Great British Florist Herefordshire Hero award which recognises those who go above and beyond to help others.
But the couple said they "don't do it for the thanks".
Mr Sykes, who is 65 and from Wormbridge, said: "We enjoy what we do very much and don't expect anything in return. When people come for a psychic reading or for some healing, to just see them leave with a big smile on their face is enough for us."
On top of devoting their time to their ever-growing congregation, they also find time to raise money for charity throughout the year.
This year they raised £1,000 for Riding for the Disabled as well as £500 for Hereford and Worcester Animal Rescue.
They also gathered produce for Hereford's Food Bank, but the couple said they couldn't do it without the generosity of their congregation.
Ros, 66, said: "It is the lovely people who come to our church and fellow organisers who make this possible.
"It's just nice to be able to help people. I most enjoy watching people's faces and seeing the look of wonder they get when they are given a reading.
"Some people cry because it can be very emotional, so we are always on hand with tissues and making sure people know it isn't silly at all to cry. It makes it all worth while.
"Everyone is welcome in the church, no matter what denomination they are. We have made so many wonderful friends through the church and we always want to make more."
Every month, the Hereford Times and the Great British Florist will join forces to give someone worthy of recognition a bouquet of flowers.
To nominate your Herefordshire Hero, email details to email@example.com.