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“Grateful and embarrassed” cathedral foreman recognised in New Year Honours List

One of St Paul’s longest serving employees is celebrating receiving an MBE in the New Year Honours List, for his service to the cathedral.

Alan Horsfield, the cathedral’s General Foreman, started his life at St Paul’s 42 years ago as a stone mason. In that time, he has been an integral part of the day-to-day running of the cathedral, helping oversee two major restorations and being part of numerous high-profile services and events.

Alan said: "For me, the Royal Wedding in 1981 was a highlight. I was there as Charles and Diana entered the cathedral and all of us working that day were able to bring our wives.”

As well as the wedding in 1981, Alan has worked at other high-profile services including the Silver and Golden Jubilees, the VE and VJ Day services and the annual Remembrance Day service.

Now 61, Alan lives with his wife Carol in Bexley, South London. In 1965 he began an apprenticeship at Wandsworth Stoneworks before moving to the cathedral in April 1970.

Talking about his long relationship with one of the UK’s most iconic buildings, he said: "On my first day, I thought the cathedral was the biggest thing in the world – it’s really daunting how it hits you at first. But now, after all this time, it feels more like a one-bedroom flat.

"It’s been the most fantastic place to work and I have made some great friends, in the Works Team and throughout the cathedral. It’s a huge part of my life.”

On becoming a Member of the British Empire, Alan added: "Obviously I’m very pleased – it was a bit of a shock. To be honest, I’m very grateful but also a bit embarrassed – everyone keeps talking about it.”

Alan is due to retire in June this year, after helping with his third Jubilee service, and says he will spend his working on his house and playing golf.