THE director of Glastonbury Abbey since 2013 has been awarded the MBE.

Janet Bell, from Wells, said it came as a big surprise after a difficult period during the pandemic.

"It was particularly challenging and I spent a lot of time seeking grant aid to get us through an incredibly difficult period," said Ms Bell.

"Almost all our income disappeared, but we managed to raise over £800,000.

"We had to be quite creative in the way we adapted the business and the charity in making sure we kept the abbey open as much as possible, particularly for local people as well as generating income.

"I feel humble and proud at the award. I feel extremely honoured and slightly overwhelmed. It's given me a huge lift."

A 104-year-old dance teacher from Wembdon has been awarded the BEM for her work dedicated to the arts.