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UK News

Justin Welby honours Muslim leader for heroic efforts

by Tola Mbakwe

Most Rev Justin Welby recognised Imam Mohammed Mahmoud for his "courageous and selfless intervention" to prevent violence against a driver who had run down worshippers near a mosque in Finsbury Park in June 2017.

Mahmoud was one of the 30 recipients of the 2018 Lambeth Awards, which was presented by the Archbishop Justin at Lambeth Palace on Friday.

Christians from Africa, the Far East and the UK were also honoured. Awards were given to people from across the Church who have given extraordinary service in fields including conflict resolution, education, worship, journalism and evangelism.

Among the recipients are Canon Dr Paula Gooder, who was recognised for her biblical scholarship and shining example of service to the Church of England.

Canon Grace Kaiso received an award for his service to the Anglican Communion, including his remarkable leadership on conflict resolution and peacebuilding in Africa.

Lambeth Palace

Meanwhile the Rev Dr John L Bell was recognised for his outstanding Christian witness through hymn-writing, broadcasting and social action.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Archbishop said he wished to express the thanks of the Church and the wider community for the recipients' outstanding contributions in their fields.

"It is a sad fact that we live in a world where there is much cruelty and much neglect. Throughout the world – and I by no means exclude this country – it is the poorest and weakest who suffer most from the selfishness and injustice visited upon them by the rich and the strong.

"It would be easy to despair. But I do not despair. My own faith in God and in our Saviour Jesus Christ teaches me that I must be always hopeful. I must never give in to hopelessness. And one of the things which lightens my darkness is the knowledge that there are good women and men, throughout the world, who have also refused to give into despair.

Good people who, often quietly, discreetly and known only to a few, work for justice and reconciliation, for the relief of poverty and for the furtherance of the Kingdom of God, for progress in education and for beauty in worship."

The Lambeth Awards, launched by Archbishop Justin in 2016.

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