The former Secretary for Anglican Communion Affairs for the Archbishops of Canterbury, the Revd Canon Joanna Udal, has been awarded the Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion by Archbishop Justin Welby. Canon Joanna Served both Archbishop Rowan Willams and Justin Welby, before stepping down in 2014. The award was in recognition of her “unparalleled service to the Anglican Communion”.
In the citation for her award, which Archbishop Justin presented yesterday (Tuesday) at Lambeth Palace, the London residence and offices of the Archbishops of Canterbury, former Archbishop Lord Williams said: “Canon Joanna Udal has given unparalleled service to the Anglican Communion, both in selfless work at grassroots level and as an adviser and enabler of projects for the entire Anglican family.
“Her long and dedicated ministry in Sudan was of immense significance for the successful running of that Province, and she laboured faithfully, even heroically, travelling all around Sudan with the then Archbishop and assisting his ministry of reconciliation and encouragement.
“Her engagement with the day to day life of the Sudanese Church earned her both a unique insight into the sufferings and struggles of this Province, and a unique level of trust and affection on the part of the members and leadership of the Province and of many other African churches also.”
Lord Williams continued: “Her subsequent work on the staff of Lambeth Palace revealed her capacity for wise advice, efficient planning and endless sacrificial hard work in overseeing some complex foreign journeys for the Archbishop of Canterbury and monitoring the situation of various Provinces as plans unfolded for Anglican Consultative Council and Primates meetings.
“Unobtrusive and unselfish, prayerful and intelligent, she was a tower of strength for the life of the Communion, and the Anglican family owes her an immense debt – as does this former Archbishop.”
Canon Philip Mounstephen, Executive Leader of Church Mission Society, with whom Canon Udal served in Sudan as a CMS mission partner, commented: “We’re just delighted that Joanna’s outstanding service has been recognised in this way. One of our values in CMS is faithfulness and she is unquestionably a wonderful example of this.”