Mr Umesh Chander Sharma JP Co-Chair of the Hindu Council UK has received an official award “The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Inter-Faith Cooperation” from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for his exceptionally committed civic service fostering good interfaith relationships, both locally and internationally. The award was presented to him on 31st March 2021.
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 Lionheart during the Third Crusade. Its design incorporates a scarab beetle, a motif favoured by Archbishop Walter, which some scholars believe may have denoted the resurrection.
The citation for Mr Umesh Sharma’s award recognises his role in convening a meeting of leading leaders from across the United Kingdom who furnished the Archbishop of Canterbury with a comprehensive and clear briefing before his major visit to India in 2019.
It reads that Mr Sharma for well over 30 years has actively worked across faith communities for the betterment of both locality and nation. Mr Sharma has made a unique contribution and example through his ability to establish deep relationships; this is because of his honesty, effective and sincere relationships between different faith communities. He is unafraid to articulate uncomfortable truths but is a warm and generous host and approachable and loving in his demeanour.
Particularly as a Chair of Trustee of Shree Ram Mandir Southall and Co-Chair of Hindu Council UK, his role is recognised as a bridge-builder for important and official Christian- Hindu dialogue that the Anglican Church has with Hindu Community.
In response, Mr Umesh Sharma said, “I am greatly honoured and humbled that Archbishop Justin would award me with this distinguished recognition. Receiving this award is a great honour. This award particularly recognizes not my work but also our organisation’s work and it gives an amazing feeling of getting recognized for the efforts that we all put in.
The Hindu Council UK is delighted to hear that Mr Umesh Sharma’s work to support interfaith communities locally and nationally has been recognised. Mr Sharma contribution as Co-Chair of HCUK has shown how personally committed he is help not only members of the Hindu community but also different communities as well-Rajnish Kashyap General Secretary HCUK
Previous recipients of the award include Roman Catholic Bishop Paride Taban for his reconciliation efforts in South Sudan, the Bishop of Egypt, Mouneer, 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