The Rev. Paul-Gordon Chandler, the Founding President of CARAVAN
, an international peacebuilding arts NGO, was awarded the 2020 Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation by the Archbishop of Canterbury on June 30, 2020. Known as one of the prestigious Lambeth Awards, it is the highest international award for outstanding service in the work of reconciliation and interfaith dialogue within the Anglican Communion.
When announcing the 2020 Lambeth Award recipients, the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said that The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation was awarded to Rev. Chandler for his distinct and exceptional contribution in using the arts for interreligious peacebuilding around the world. The Lambeth Award citation noted that Chandler has spent his life focusing strategically on the role of the arts in the context of interfaith peacebuilding, toward building bridges of understanding, respect and friendship between the Abrahamic faiths.
Chandler founded CARAVAN in 2009 when living in Cairo, Egypt, with the mission of using the arts to build sustainable peace around the world. Now in its 11th year, CARAVANs artistic initiatives have resulted in unprecedented gatherings of renowned and emerging artists from all over the world, coming together to use art for peacebuilding purposes, in exhibitions held at renowned sacred spaces such as St. Pauls Cathedral in London and National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and at notable art venues like the National Gallery of Fine Arts in Amman, Jordan, the American University Museum in Washington, D.C., Museum of Modern Art in Cairo, Egypt, as well as at reverential memorial sites like Ground Zero in New York.
Based presently in Doha, Qatar, as the rector of the Anglican Church in Qatar, upon receiving the award, Chandler remarked that he is deeply honored to receive this award which seeks to inspire us to realize what is possible, and how we can each play an important role in shaping our world into one where understanding, respect and compassion are valued above all regardless of faith, cultural, or ethnic backgrounds.
The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation awarded by Archbishop Justin Welby is named after Hubert Walter, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1193 to 1205, who had dialogue with Muslims at a time of interreligious conflict. He accompanied King Richard on the third crusade, and was involved in negotiations with the great Islamic military leader Sultan Saladin over access for Christian clergy to the Holy Places, and helped raise the ransom to get the king released from incarceration in Germany when he was captured on his return from the Holy Land. Its design incorporates a scarab beetle, a motif favored by Archbishop Walter. The award recognizes those who have made an outstanding contribution in the areas of reconciliation and interfaith cooperation.
The Lambeth Awards are usually presented at a ceremony at Lambeth Palace in London. This year, the event has been canceled due to COVID-19.