Skip to main content

David Wilkinson shakes hands with Archbishop Welby

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s 2022 Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship has been awarded to St John's College Principal, Revd Professor David Wilkinson. He has been recognised for his outstanding contribution as a communicator and thinker, bringing together science and Christian faith in full dialogue in the public square.

As well as his work as Principal of St John’s College, Durham University, and as Co-Director of ECLAS, David is an astrophysicist and Methodist minister whose published books include God, Stephen Hawking and the Multiverse: What Hawking Said and Why it Matters (SPCK, 2020).

David is the second ECLAS co-director to receive a Lambeth Award; Prof Tom McLeish received the Lanfranc Award in 2018 for outstanding work in education and science, and for upholding his position as a leading contemporary lay Anglican voice in the dialogue of science and faith.

The Lambeth Awards are given to people within the Church of England, the wider Anglican Communion, other Christian churches, as well as to those of other faiths and none. The Lanfranc Award for Education and Scholarship was first awarded by Archbishop Justin Welby in March 2016 and is named after Lanfranc, Archbishop of Canterbury from 1070 to 1089, who was a scholar and teacher.

Announcing the awards, the Archbishop said, “The world around us is not as it should be. There is grave injustice and we currently face war in Europe, while Covid-19 continues to cause much grief. But we do not despair. Our faith in Jesus teaches us that we are justified in maintaining hope. One thing which feeds that hope is the work and service of the people we recognise today.”

The Archbishop added, “Many of those receiving an award have worked quietly, discreetly and are known only to a few. They have worked for justice and reconciliation, for the relief of poverty, for the extension of the Kingdom of God, for the advancement of education for all, for understanding between denominations and faiths, for authenticity in worship and prayer on behalf of this broken world. These awards represent an opportunity to acknowledge their valuable work. I present them on behalf of the Church of England but also, I hope, on behalf of people of goodwill everywhere.”

David said, “It is an immense honour to receive this award, which I see as a reflection of the educational work we have done together at St John’s College and Durham University, and within our project Equipping Christian Leadership in an Age of Science. It is perhaps also a reflection of the Church seeing the importance of science as a gift from God.”