Retired Notts priest receives Lambeth Award

The Revd Graham Burton, a retired priest from Hyson Green, was presented with a prestigious international award for reconciliation by the Archbishop of Canterbury on the 4th April.

Twenty-seven people who have made an extraordinary contribution to the Church and wider society were given Lambeth Awards by the Most Revd Justin Welby, at Lambeth Palace.

From peacemakers to nuns, academics to gardeners, the 2019 Lambeth Awards recipients celebrate the wide range of ways that people devote themselves to serving others.

Graham was recognised for working for peace between Christians and Muslims in Pakistan for twelve years, and in Nottingham for twenty-five years.

He said of the honour: “It was a very special day for me.  Three of my family members came including my wife Gillian who has shared with me these last 40 years and in my eyes shares this award.  We are agreed that this award should be dedicated to the Pakistani Christian community, both in Pakistan and in the UK.  From them we have learnt so much.  I often say that Pakistani Christians are invisible because it is assumed by many that all Pakistanis are Muslim. Their story of suffering needs to be heard by the church in the UK.  They struggle for justice in Pakistan and in the UK.  They are a gift to the church in this country.”

The Lambeth Awards, launched by Archbishop Justin Welby in 2016, recognise outstanding service in different fields, including those of the Archbishop’s ministry priorities of prayer and the Religious life; reconciliation and peacebuilding; and evangelism and witness.

In total 27 awards were this year given to people from across the Church and beyond who have given outstanding service in fields including reconciliation, evangelism, the Religious life, ecumenism, supporting refugees and community building. Including:-

Rachel Overton, who was recognised for her work in forming spiritual directors and ‘the quiet holiness’ which she conveys as a solitary religious.

Bishop Dr Joseph Aldred of the Church of God of Prophecy immigrated to the UK from Jamaica in his mid-teens as part of the Windrush Generation. Bishop Joseph was recognised for his outstanding mission to the UK’s African-Caribbean community and to the wider church.

Professor Mona Siddiqui of the University of Edinburgh, who was the first Muslim to hold a Chair in Islamic and Interreligious Studies, was awarded for her “sustained, eloquent and articulate advocacy” of interfaith dialogue.

Archbishop Justin Welby said: “It is a great honour to present the Lambeth Awards again this year. As we look around our world today, we could be tempted to despair at the injustice, inequality and suffering that so many people are enduring. But our faith in God, and in our Saviour Jesus Christ, teaches us that there is always hope.

“The tireless work of these men and women for justice, peace and reconciliation is a great source of such hope. Praise God for those whose lives are dedicated to serving his purposes.”

Photo: Graham and his wife Gillian are pictured far right on the second row.

Find out more about the awards here.