Mr Umesh Chander Sharma Chairperson 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 the 23rd of September 2021 during the reception hosted by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Lambeth Palace.
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 Mr Sharma’s defining contribution in civic service fostering good interfaith relationships across the globe, in March 2021, Mr Sharma was honoured with ‘The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Inter-Faith Cooperation’ by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby. Mr Sharma’s role as a bridge-builder for important and official Christian-Hindu dialogue that the Anglican Church has with Hindu Community was vividly recounted by Archbishop Welby in the august presence of the distinguished audience. The Archbishop paid further tribute to the work Mr Sharma was doing to bring communities together. He praised the way Hindu Council UK arranged a national level meeting between leaders from the Hindu faith and his office. It certainly dispelled some myths and anxieties of some people and pave the way for further joint projects. Mr Sharma dedicated his award to all those who are working hard to take the world towards the two main mottos of the Hindu Council UK, VASUDEV KUTBHKAM and Sewa Parmo Dharma.
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