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Archbishop of Canterbury awards Lambeth Degrees

Tuesday 7th September 2004

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has today presided over the Lambeth Degree award ceremony in Lambeth Palace Chapel. On this occasion he has awarded six degrees.

The Lambeth Degree is a real academic award. The candidates are exempt from both residential and examination requirements and the special awards are made on merit in recognition of recipients' contribution to religious, academic and public life.

The Archbishop of Canterbury's right to grant degrees is derived from Peter's Pence Act of 1533 which empowered the Archbishop to grant dispensations previously granted by the Pope. The practice began during the time when attendance at Oxford and Cambridge, the only universities at that time in England, was frequently disrupted by the difficulty of travel or outbreaks of the plague. The Archbishop was empowered to grant exemption from the residential requirements necessary for a degree.

Lambeth degrees can be awarded in Divinity, Law, Arts, Literature, Medicine and Music.

Brief biographies and citations for those being awarded Lambeth Degrees:

The Revd Marcus Braybrooke
Mr Braybrooke, priest of Marsh Baldon and Tootbaldon in Oxford, has spent much of his working life involved in the interfaith movement including being Joint President of the World Congress of Faiths (1984-87), and Trustee of the Parliament of the World's Religions ( 1994-99). He also played an integral part in founding and developing the International Peace Council. He is currently Patron of the Council of Christians and Jews, and a Trustee of the Three Faiths Forum.

Mr Braybrooke is a well-published author. His book, Pilgrimage of Hope: One hundred years of global interfaith dialogue, chronicles all the major events and people who contributed to the development and steady growth of interfaith dialogue over the century, and it provides an assessment of the significance and implications of such dialogue for the Christian churches.

DD: In recognition of his contribution to the development of inter-religious co-operation and understanding throughout the world.

The Rt Revd David Stancliffe

The Rt Revd David Stancliffe, the Bishop of Salisbury, joined the Liturgical Commission in 1986 and became its Chairman in 1993. Earlier in his career, first as Precentor and later Provost of Portsmouth Cathedral, he combined his interest in liturgy, knowledge of architecture and re-ordering of churches, in transforming the 750-year old parish church of St Thomas of Canterbury into the city's cathedral.

Since 1993 he has presided over a team of liturgical scholars and pastoral liturgists undertaking the Common Worship project that has replaced the Alternative Service Book of 1980.

DD: In recognition of his contribution as Chairman of the Liturgical Commission and in particular for his work on Common Worship.

Dr David Shaw

Dr Shaw, Senior Lecturer in French at the University of Kent, is also general editor of the Cathedral Libraries Catalogue. This work, which had been started in 1943, involved listing all books published in England, Wales and the Continent prior to 1701 and the second and final parts have recently been published by the Bibliographical Society in conjunction with the British Library.

Dr Shaw's contribution was to lead the project to its conclusion and to record the listings on a personally designed computer programme to allow the catalogue to be available to a wide range of interested users.

DLitt: In recognition of his work as Editor-in-Chief of the Cathedral Libraries Catalogue for over 20 years and for bringing successfully to completion work begun in 1943.

The Revd Canon John Foskett

For 17 years Canon Foskett was Chaplain, pastoral care and counselling supervisor and tutor at the Bethlem and Maudsley NHS Trust in South London, and he remains chaplain emeritus of the Maudsley's successor the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust.

During this time he established the Bishop John Robinson Fellowship in Pastoral Care and Mental Health which provides a national network for those interested in the interface between spirituality and mental health.

Canon Foskett has become a central figure in the pastoral care and practical theology movement in the UK representing health care chaplaincy to a wider constituency through his writing and presence at national and international conferences.

MA: In recognition of contribution to the better understanding of the relationship between pastoral care, mental health and spirituality and the advancement of understanding between religion and psychiatry.

The Rt Revd Kenneth Gill

Bishop Kenneth Gill has received wide recognition for his transnational and transdenominational ministry within the Methodist and Anglican churches both in the UK and in India. Following Methodist Church ministerial training he went to India as a missionary where he was ordained deacon and later a presbyter. In 1972 he became the first person to be elected bishop of the newly formed Karnataka Central Diocese, within the Church of South India church union scheme comprising Anglicans, Presbyterians and Methodists.

On return to England in 1980 he accepted the offer to serve as Assistant Bishop of Newcastle, where he was able to bring a significant ecumenical dimension to his ministry. He has been instrumental in creating the Church Relations Group where local churches work together to bring an awareness of belonging to a worldwide communion of believers.

His recent writings include Count us Equals, Roots to Fruits and Darkness to Light.

MA: In recognition of his ministry both in the Methodist and Anglican Church and for his service to the Church in South India and later in the Diocese of Newcastle.

Mr John Wilkins

Mr Wilkins has recently retired as editor of The Tablet, the Roman Catholic weekly journal after some 22 years' service. Since he took over in 1982 he has more than doubled the paper's audited circulation and increased its readership significantly to include Christians from all denominations.

MA: In recognition of his editorship of 'The Tablet' for over 20 years and his subsequent contribution to religious journalism in Britain.

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