FAITH leaders who have gone beyond their duty to support their communities during the pandemic are among those named in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list, published on Friday night. Most recipients (62 per cent) are recognised for their community work.
Campaigners, musicians, artists, educators, economists, politicians, peers, lawyers, engineers, and scientists were among those to receive the highest awards.
Among those appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire (DBE) are Professor Helen Atkinson, an engineer at Cranfield University whose husband is the Bishop of Bedford, for services to engineering and education; Maura Regan OBE for her service to the Bishop Hogarth Catholic Education Trust and her work as strategic adviser to the Opportunity Northeast programme, providing support to St Aidan’s C of E Academy to achieve a Good OFSTED rating; Catherine (Kate) Bingham for her leadership in deploying 367 million doses of seven Covid-19 vaccines; and Professor Sarah Gilbert, for her work developing a vaccine for the MERS-coronavirus, which was tested on humans before the pandemic reached the UK.
Other DBEs are the Conservative MP for South Northamptonshire, Andrea Leadsom; the television cook and judge on The Great British Bake Off, Prue Leith CBE DL; and the choreographer and director Arlene Philips CBE, who, among other charitable work, organised a fund-raising “Gala for Grenfell” in 2017.
Among the Knights Bachelor are Professor Peter Horby, an adviser to the World Health Organization on endemic preparedness and clinical research; Professor Andrew Pollard, who set up and implements the Oxford Covid-19 vaccine trial; and the actor Jonathan Pryce, who has played Pope Francis on screen. He is cited for his charity work as well as his acting.
Among those appointed CBE are Canon Nigel Biggar of Christ Church, Oxford, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology in the University, for services to higher education; and the potter and writer Edmund de Waal OBE (Arts, 18 December 2020), for services to the arts.
In the Cathedrals Group of universities, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Canterbury Christ Church, Professor Helen James, is appointed OBE for services to higher education, as is the Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool Hope, Professor Gerald Pillay DL. Also among the OBEs are Clare Sealy, former head teacher of St Matthias C of E Primary School, Tower Hamlets, in London, for services to education; the cellist Professor Julian Lloyd Webber, for services to music; the chief executive of the Muslim Charities Forum, Fadi El-Itani, for services to charity and interfaith relations during Covid-19; and the Head of Engagement, People, Places, and Communities Division in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in Manchester, Syed Naeem Pasha Shah.
MBEs include the Deputy Governor of the Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade, Elizabeth Butterfield, for services to young people in Borehamwood, Hertfordshire; the Revd Andrew Fordyce, Vicar of the Tenpenny Villages, for services to the community in Colchester, Essex; the radio presenter Simon Mayo, for services to broadcasting; the Revd Lesley Mason, managing chaplain and co-founder of the mentoring programme Making Connections at HM Prison Send, a women’s prison in Godalming, Surrey; Amanda Medler, Girlguiding’s Chief Guide, for services to girls and young women; Glen Perkins, founder and volunteer of Action 4 Ashes and Shrewsbury Street Pastors, for services to the community in Shropshire; and Elizabeth Whetham, executive head teacher of Holy Trinity Primary School, a C of E academy in Halifax. Dilwar Hussain is appointed MBE for services to interfaith and social cohesion in Leicester.
Among recipients of the British Empire Medal (BEM) are the founder of Working for Food Justice at the West Cheshire Foodbank, the Revd Christine Jones, for services to the Cheshire community during Covid-19; a non-stipendiary minister at Merton Priory in the diocese of Southwark, the Revd Hannah Neale, and the Revd Ank Rigelsford, of Cambridge, for services to their communities during Covid-19.
The conductor emeritus and founder of All Souls Orchestra, Dr Noel Tredinnick, was awarded a BEM for services to church music and to music education in London. He is an organist, composer, academic, and music director.
Other medallists include the assistant head teacher at George Carey C of E Primary School, Barking, Victoria Baldock, for services to education; Ann Johnson, teacher at St Michael’s C of E High School Chorley, Lancashire, for services to education; a nurse consultant and chaplain, the Revd Stephen Betteridge-Sorby, for services to faith communities in Bretby, Derbyshire, during Covid-19; Robert Yarr for services to church choral music in Ballinderry Parish Church, Lisburn, in Co. Antrim; and James Carlin, the director of 3SG, a community and charity support group in Bath, for services to social enterprise, interfaith relations, and the voluntary sector during Covid-19.
The youngest recipient in the list is 21-year-old Amika George who received an MBE for services to education, having founded the #FreePeriods campaign.
The Prime Minister recommended 1129 people, including 129 for service to the UK overseas. Covid-19 was cited 264 times (23 per cent of recipients). The list is the most ethnically diverse to date: 15 per cent of recipients are from an ethnic-minority background. Half the awards are to women.
Among the overseas recipients is the Archbishop of Brisbane, the Most Revd Dr Phillip Aspinall, who is awarded Australia’s highest honour, writes Muriel Porter, Australia correspondent. Dr Aspinall, who was Primate of the Anglican Church of Australia from 2005 to 2014, is one of five people made Companions of the Order of Australia. His award is “for eminent service to the Anglican Church of Australia, to the development of ecumenical relationships and professional standards, and through commitment to social justice and welfare”. He has been Archbishop of Brisbane since 2002.