Jocelyn Armstrong, a longtime interfaith leader in URI and co-chair of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Religious Diversity Centre, has been granted a notable honor by the Anglican Church – the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Lambeth Hubert Walter Award – recognizing her outstanding contribution to interfaith relations in New Zealand.
“Jocelyn Armstrong has made a highly significant contribution to building peace and cooperation between diverse religious communities in Aotearoa New Zealand over many years,” says New Zealand Archbishop Philip Richardson. “As well as building up interfaith relations, Jocelyn has advocated and resourced religious diversity education for all New Zealanders through her teaching, organisation and networking.”
“Thanks to Jocelyn’s vision and commitment – and her ability to draw on long-established interfaith relationships – we now have a national Religious Diversity Centre that is uniquely positioned to resource a deeper understanding of religion’s critical role in shaping the cultures and identities that make up our country.”
Jocelyn welcomes the award as a recognition of New Zealand’s standing in the world and the development of interfaith relationships that have so far been achieved. “I see this award as the Anglican Church recognising and appreciating the work so many people have done to build interfaith relationships and understanding of religious diversity around Aotearoa New Zealand over the past thirty years,” she says. “These relationships build a good foundation on which to build a richly inclusive society.”
As the spread of COVID-19 shifts plans and expectations around the world, Jocelyn expresses trust in faith and interfaith communities to play a positive role. “There is a need now in the wake of the pandemic to invest not only in technology but in people, working together in a new intentional way, addressing the inequities and the disparities magnified by the situation. Over the past months Government and media recognised the need for understanding and respect for religion in the public space. Coming out of that is an awareness that religions have an important contribution to make to human well-being and therefore to our social policies.”
Jocelyn and her husband, George, have been longtime members of URI since its early days, leading URI Cooperation Circles (URI member groups) and supporting URI's work around the world.
See more details about Jocelyn’s work and the Lambeth Hubert Walter Award in this news article.