Three servants of ACSA receive Lambeth Awards

Three members of the Province are among more than 30 Anglicans across the Communion who have received Lambeth Awards for 2021. The awards are made by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby, to recognise outstanding contributions to the Church and wider society.

Bishop Luke Pato of Namibia and Canon Rachel Mash, the Province’s environmental coordinator, have been awarded the Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion. The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya, as previously announced by the Synod of Bishops, received the Langton Award for Community Service.

The citations, published on April 7 by Lambeth Palace in London, follow in alphabetical order:

Canon Rachel Mash – the Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion

For raising awareness of and the urgent need to implement the Fifth Mark of Mission in the Anglican Communion.

Working with the steering committee of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network, Dr Mash was instrumental in organising the first eco-bishops’ conference at Volmoed. From this came the Good Friday statement ‘The world is our host,’ which had a huge impact on the Anglican Communion. A further eco-bishops of Africa conference led to ‘An Urgent Cry for Ecological Justice; Reclaiming the Gospel Imperative for All Creation’ and a call for climate change to be high on the agenda for Lambeth Conference. The Anglican Communion Environmental Network (ACEN) subsequently released a statement on Environmental Racism signed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, nine other archbishops and over 60 Bishops.

Starting in the Anglican Church of South Africa (ACSA), she promoted the Season of Creation into a living liturgical season, resourcing it with excellent liturgical materials. On a Communion level she brought a resolution to the 2009 Anglican Consultative Council in New Zealand to celebrate a liturgical ‘Season of Creation’ as an integral part of the church’s yearly pattern of worship and teaching. The Season of Creation has spread to a growing number of provinces. She is part of the steering committee for the Season of Creation ecumenical network with the Global Catholic Climate Movement, the World Council of Churches, the Lutheran World Federation and others.

The Green Anglicans Youth movement was started in ACSA and has since spread to Central Africa, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Portugal. Perceiving that the environmental movement must be led by young people, she has consistently trained, empowered and believed in young people so that they are at the forefront of the movement.

Bishop Luke Lungile Pato – The Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion

For outstanding lifelong service to the Church and Society through Theological Education as well as in Ecumenical Relations.

Since Bishop Luke Lungile Pato’s consecration and installation as Bishop of Namibia in 2016, his leadership, theological acumen and pastoral approach have endeared him to the people of the Diocese, bringing stability to the Church in Namibia.

Previously, he had served in the Diocese of Johannesburg as Rector of the Parish of St Martin in the Veld Rosebank, and Rector of the School for Ministries in the Diocese. He spent many years at the South African Council of Churches (SACC) in Church and Reconciliation Ministries following the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he also built support with the Christian Church in the Palestinian Territories. He has also served in the Anglican Communion Anglican-Orthodox Commission. An internationalist, he has served as a university lecturer in Religious Studies and is a published scholar in African Theology and Theological Education.

After seven years as founding Rector of the College of the Transfiguration, where he established a new seminary for the church, set its norms and academic programmes and environment for priestly formation for the Anglican Church, the Archbishop of Cape Town invited him to serve as Provincial Executive Officer and for a while he was based at Bishopscourt, the office of the Archbishop of Cape Town and Metropolitan of the Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

Bishop Pato is nominated in recognition of his outstanding and faithful ministry in the Church, especially his leadership and administrative skills in ground-breaking and difficult situations; his sensitive work as a reconciler and bridge-builder between Church and society; and his work for justice that linked the Church in South Africa with the Church in Palestine. He has rendered illustrious service and dedication to Church and society; in his ecumenical service on behalf of the Anglican Church; and in his work of peace, justice and reconciliation.

The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya – The Langton Award for Community Service

For outstanding leadership in the area of sustainable development and Creation Care in the Diocese of Swaziland (Eswatini).

The late Bishop Ellinah Wamukoya was the first woman to be Bishop in Africa. As such she served her Diocese, the Province and the Anglican Communion in an outstanding manner. She integrated the care of creation into her theology, her teaching and her praxis, prioritising the environment at all levels.

In the Diocese of Swaziland (Eswatini), she was one of the first bishops to introduce the Season of Creation on a yearly basis. She instituted many successful environmental projects, the wattle tree project, seed distribution, the rocket stove initiative and the pig farming project. These have demonstrated sustainable development in a way which is healing the land. The Department of Environment has recognised the Diocese two years in a row for an Eco-award, and she was invited to preach at National World Environment day events.

On a Provincial level, she was the liaison bishop for the environment and oversaw the Greening of the Canons, divestment from fossil fuels, a commitment to banning of Styrofoam at church events and other environmental resolutions.

On a communion level, as chairperson of the Anglican Communion Environmental Network she spoke at Anglican Consultative Council in Lusaka on the Eucharist and the Environment. She spoke at forums in Washington DC and was a facilitator for Trinity Church, Wall Street on sustainability for churches in Africa.

Bishop Ellinah was an active member of the Anglican Bishops in Dialogue consultations. These bishops, in the spirit of the Indaba process of Lambeth 2008, courageously took the risk to meet and listen to those with whom they have had profound disagreements. They met for over 10 years and grew in trust, mutual respect and understanding of their diverse contexts and common mission. In this, as in all she undertook, Bishop Ellinah made an outstanding contribution.

The full list of awardees can be found on the Lambeth Palace website.

6 replies on “Three servants of ACSA receive Lambeth Awards”

Congratulations to + Pato and Dr Rachel Mash. We thank God for being of service to God’s people.

Congratulations to the three ACSA servants of God, one of whom is no longer with us, the late Bishop Elinah. The commitment you have all shown to God’s mission is inspiring. Thank you for responding so whole-heartedly to God’s call on your lives, and in so doing setting an example for all followers of Christ our Lord.

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