Like the No.11 Outer Circle bus, it seems that Archbishop's Awards also turn up three at once! We always knew they were winners, but today the Archbishop of Canterbury officially recognised Andrew Smith, Janet Knox and Paula Gooder for their lifelong dedication to mission with individual awards.
Canon Dr Andrew Smith: The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Co-operation
Andrew is our Director of Interfaith Relations. He founded The Feast; a charity which brings together Muslim and Christian teenagers to form friendships and explore faith together. The Feast won a Christian Youthwork award for innovative youth work in 2012 and a Queen's Award for voluntary service in 2015. The Feast is now being developed both nationally and internationally.
Other interfaith work in Birmingham has included the establishment of the Birmingham Conversations; which bring people of different faiths together to discuss challenging topics, and Faithful Friends on Tour, which saw a group of faith leaders from different backgrounds make a pilgrimage together to various sites considered spiritually significant to each individual in turn. Andrew also organised an interfaith breakfast for several hundred people to welcome the Olympic Torch to Sparkhill Park, Birmingham in 2012.
Revd Janet Knox: The Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness
Revd Janet Knox is currently one of our Growing Younger Facilitators and also an assistant priest at St. Boniface, Quinton. She has tirelessly developed St Boniface’s work with children and families, and has seen significant growth in the number of children involved in the life of the church. She is very well known and loved in her parish by a vast number of people whom she has helped and with whom she has shared the Gospel. In her role as Growing Younger Facilitator she has also supported other local churches in developing their ministry amongst children and young people.
Her award is named after St Alphege, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1006 until 1012 when he was killed by Viking raiders after refusing to allow himself to be ransomed. He was known for his witness, wise counsel and care for the poor. We are delighted that Janet is following in his footsteps - although we are hoping that she won't be killed by Viking raiders!
Canon Dr Paula Gooder: The Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship
Paula is one of Britain's most respected Bible scholars and communicators, as well as being our Director of Mission Learning and Development. Previous to working with us she was the Theologian in Residence at the Bible Society and a freelance theologian, author and speaker. She has published widely in the fields of biblical scholarship and spirituality.
Within the national church she has served on General Synod, the Women Bishops Legislative drafting group and steering committee, the Faith and Order Advisory Group and was Chair of the National Reader Educational Panel. She is also a member of the Anglican Roman Catholic International Committee and was a member of the Council for Christian Unity from 2011-2015.