WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Rev. Canon Dr. Andrew White, President of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East and chaplain to St. George’s Church, Baghdad, has received the 2014 William Wilberforce Award.
The award is presented each year to the person the board of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview feels has best exemplified the passion and principles of William Wilberforce as a witness of real Christianity in society.
Canon White is the first Anglican priest ever to win the award. The only previous British recipient was the Baroness Caroline Cox, who received the award in 1995 and who also happens to be a member of FRRME’s Board. The 2013 prize went to the Archbishop of New York, His Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan.
In his May 3 acceptance speech, Canon White said that he hoped the award would be seen as a confirmation of the radical role of the Anglican Church in peace making and in particular, St. George’s in Baghdad. He noted that it was a tremendous honor to receive the award in memory of one of the greatest statesmen of the Christian faith. The award was presented the same week that Christian leaders released a major declaration in Congress calling for the protection of the persecuted Church. Canon White also spoke at this event at the Capitol and attended a Board meeting of the American Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.
The William Wilberforce Award is named for the eighteenth-century British parliamentarian, whose impassioned, well-reasoned debates and writings helped end Britain’s slave trade and reform the corroding values of England. The example of Wilberforce and his friends sparked a sweeping spiritual movement throughout the country, which in turn transformed a variety of social ills.