Archbishop of Canterbury presents the Hubert Walter award to Egypt's Bishop Mouneer Anis

Ahram Online , Friday 23 Feb 2018

The Hubert Walter award recognises those who have made an outstanding contribution in the areas of reconciliation and interfaith cooperation

The Secretary General of the Anglican Communion Josiah Idowu-Fearon presents the Hubert Walter Award to Bishop Mouneer Anis in Cairo Cathedral on behalf of Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby (Photo: courtesy of the Anglican Communion News Service, ACNS)

The Bishop of Egypt, Mouneer Anis, has received an official award from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for his “invaluable contribution to the work of peace and reconciliation."

The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Inter-Faith Cooperation was presented to Bishop Mouneer on Wednesday 21 February during a meeting of the Anglican Inter-Faith Commission in Cairo.

He was handed the award by Dr. Josiah Idowu-Fearon, the Secretary-General of the Anglican Communion, on behalf of Justin Welby at Cairo Cathedral.

The citation for Bishop Mouneer’s award recognises his work with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, Ahmed El-Tayyeb.

It reads that Bishop Mouneer “has made a unique contribution and example through his ability to establish deep relationships; this is largely because of his openness, creativity and ambition to move people towards reconciliation. At times, this inevitably makes him a counter-cultural voice within his setting."

“Particularly we recognise his role as a bridge-builder for important and official international Christian-Muslim dialogue that the Anglican Church has with Al-Azhar. He is a most highly trustworthy representative for Archbishop Justin to the Grand Imam himself," it continues.

“His contribution to reconciliation is particularly significant and one which is worthy of praise and celebration," it concludes.

The citation singles out the Imam-Priest Exchange, founded by Bishop Mouneer, and described as an “ambitious, internationally acknowledged project” which has “brought hundreds of priests and imams together to learn about one another’s traditions and beliefs and to commit to working alongside one another. His vision and efforts have enabled this programme to not simply consist of meetings, but of tangible follow-up projects at the grassroots level.”

In response, Bishop Mouneer said, “I am greatly honoured that Archbishop Justin would award me with this distinguished recognition. It was a real pleasure to receive it in the context of the first meeting of the Anglican Inter-Faith Commission from Archbishop Josiah Idowu-Fearon. I feel I don’t deserve this great honour.”

The Hubert Walter Award is one of the new official Lambeth honours that Archbishop Justin Welby established in 2016 as a reward for deserving individuals.

It is named after the 12th century Archbishop of Canterbury Hubert Walter, who led negotiations with Saladin, the Sultan of Egypt and Syria, on behalf of King Richard the Lion heart during the Third Crusade.

Its design incorporates a scarab beetle, a motif favoured by Archbishop Walter, which some scholars believe may have denote the resurrection.

Previous recipients of the award include Roman Catholic Bishop Paride Taban for his reconciliation efforts in South Sudan; Rabbi Dr David Rosen, the former Chief Rabbi of Ireland; Leicester Imam Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra, the Assistant Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Great Britain; and the international commercial mediator Bill Marsh.

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