Dr Sally Smith, of the Upper Wharfedale parish in the Ripon area, has been honoured as part of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2022 Lambeth Awards.
Dr Sally has been awarded the Cross of St Augustine for services to the international Anglican Communion, as she has played a leading role on the COVID-19 Global Taskforce convened by the Anglican Alliance.
During the pandemic Dr Sally led on shaping a strategic framework on how to support the Communion through this difficult period, using her experience of working with faith partners through UNAIDS on HIV and the World Health Organisation on Ebola to make sure the Communion’s practical response to COVID-19 was underpinned by solid faith foundations.
Dr Sally said: “I must say it was a complete surprise, and I am both honoured and humbled by the award as I much prefer to stay invisible and ‘behind the scenes’.
“It was also an honour to receive this award on International Women’s Day- recognizing the work of so many women and men over the last two years in the Anglican Alliance, and the Anglican Health and Community Network, including Revd Canon Rachel Carnegie, Dr Janice Tsang, Bishop Michael Beasley, Bishop Luke Pato, and many others.
“Anglicans and people from other faith traditions as well as colleagues in WHO, have supported the engagement of faith partners from all traditions in responses to COVID-19 based on both accurate scientific information and faith.
“Thanks to such a great crowd of witnesses and hard-working colleagues.”
Dr Sally also has worked to connect and mobilise health experts across the Anglican Communion, by helping to launch the Anglican Health and Community Network.
The network has looked to bring people from across the world together to respond to the pandemic, and its work has included a series of webinars across the Communion on COVID-19 vaccines.
The Bishop of Ripon, Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, said: “I am absolutely delighted that Sally has received this most well-deserved honour, and recognition of the vital role she has played.
“Sally is an inspiringly persistent and humble leader, who bears her expertise with lightness and grace.
“Many many congratulations Sally!”