More than 35 people from around the world have been recognised with awards for outstanding service to the church in a ceremony at Lambeth Palace. Archbishop Justin Welby presented the award saying he wanted the lives and actions of those receiving these awards, which exemplified the Church’s beliefs and values, to be visible to the Church and the wider world: “Many of us will know that great prayer of St Ignatius of Loyola: “Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve, to give and not to count the cost, to fight and not to heed the wounds, to toil and not to seek for rest, to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will.” Recipients included religious, political and community leaders, musicians and others, from Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. The full list of recipients can be seen here.
The recipients of the Lambeth Cross for Ecumenism included Dr Agnes Abuom, “for her exceptional contribution to the ecumenical movement and for her work with the World Council of Churches;” the Most Revd Dr Antje Jackelén: “for her services to ecumenism - especially her leadership in addressing human, theological and social issues in partnership and dialogue; and Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia for his “outstanding contribution to Anglican-Orthodox theological dialogue.”
Recipients of the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation included the Most Revd Samuel Azariah: “for outstanding dedication to supporting and strengthening the work of women and young people in the Church of Pakistan, and for fostering ecumenical relations among Christians in Pakistan.”
The award also went to Roman Catholic Bishop Tabani Paride Kenyi: “for his contribution to reconciliation and interfaith cooperation in Southern Sudan.” He founded Holy Trinity Peace Village which supports food production and accessible formal education, as well as promoting peaceful co-existence among the neighbouring tribes.
Bishop Tabani wrote to thank Archbishop Justin for showing solidarity with South Sudan: “While we acknowledge that our country is currently going through a dark period, with tremendous suffering, hatred, evil revenge, disrespect of humanity and corruption, nonetheless we also recognise the abundance of good will, resilience, courage, endurance, dedication, commitment, self sacrifice, faith, hope and love being demonstrated by the ordinary people of South Sudan” he wrote. He said the same qualities were also being demonstrated “by many of our friends, partners from outside, including your good self, Pope Francis and the global Anglican Communion.”
Haifa Najjar received the Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship: for her outstanding contribution to education in Jordan and her exemplary leading role in Jordanian society as a Christian woman.
The Langton Award for Community Service went to Suhaila Shawqi Tarazi of Gaza: “for outstanding service to the community in one of the poorest and most neglected corners of the world, overseeing with a calm grace, the provision of vital medical services at the Al Ahli Arab Hospital.”
Archbishop Justin said “I realise that the people receiving these awards today have worked devotedly and diligently, and in the spirit of the prayer of St Ignatius. But I hope that they will allow me to say that we hold them up as examples to others. Those who read their citations will, I hope, be inspired themselves to see what can be achieved when good people work for the coming of the Kingdom.”