Archbishop Justin Welby has today announced the recipients of the 2021 Lambeth Awards for outstanding contributions to the Church and society, one of whom is Esmé Page, founder of Cornwall Hugs Grenfell – many congratualtions to her on this richly deserved award.
The Archbishop of Canterbury has today announced the recipients of the 2021 Lambeth Awards. The awards, which recognise outstanding contributions to the Church and wider society, have been given to over 30 individuals. They include scientists, musicians, academics, activists, peacemakers, doctors and clergy.
The recipients span the globe and the breadth of Church life, and beyond. They include Isaac Borquaye, the MOBO Award-winning rapper and author, better known as Guvna B; Elizabeth Harris-Sawczenko, former Director of the Council of Christians and Jews, and the Most Revd Danial Deng Bul, former Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan.
Archbishop Justin Welby said: “During the pandemic, we have seen just how vital the contribution of churches is to the fabric of our society. As well as finding creative ways to worship together safely, churches have been feeding the hungry, reaching out to the lonely and offering hope to those struggling in the midst of the crisis.
“This year’s Lambeth Awards recipients, not all of whom are Christians, embody this spirit of service – not just during the pandemic but, for many of them, through decades of faithful work. I commend them and their efforts, and look forward to the time when we meet to celebrate their contributions to society.”
Archbishops of Canterbury have long recognised outstanding individuals for their efforts, and the current form of the Lambeth Awards was developed in 2016.
Esmé Page – The Langton Award for Community Service
For answering the call to provide holidays of hope to residents and firefighters who experienced the trauma and loss of the terrible fire in Grenfell Tower.
Esmé Page began with a single Facebook post less than a week after the Grenfell fire: “Imagine if we could put a Cornish holiday on the horizon of every Grenfell resident and firefighter family: a time to rest, a time to let our beautiful county bless these peo- ple and work its gentle magic.’ This harnessed a community: since then more than 450 people – Grenfell Tower survivors, bereaved, close neighbours or firefighters – have been on holiday to Cornwall, including a third of all survivors. The movement has garnered the support of more than 250 accommodation providers and 200+ other busi- nesses have also pledged their help and support.
Esmé founded “Cornwall Hugs Grenfell” herself and running the movement became a full-time job. She said: “Every step of the way, this project has been practically sup- ported by immense human kindness and teamwork, and it feels to me also divinely supported in every way.” What Esmé fails to mention is the herculean effort she has personally put into creating an endeavour of great humanity and compassion, which has touched the lives of hundreds of people and helped in some small way to heal the scars of a terrible tragedy. It has also been an immense blessing to the people of Cornwall.
And when Covid-19 meant the organisation had to put its holidays on hold, the network was repurposed in sourcing accommodation for care workers needing to live away from home in order to protect vulnerable family members. Esmé has performed out- standing community service.
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