Archbishop of Canterbury announces 2021 Lambeth Awards

The Archbishop of Canterbury has today announced recipients of the 2021 Lambeth Awards. The awards, which recognise outstanding contributions to the Church and wider society, have been given to over 30 individuals. They include scientists, musicians, academics, activists, peacemakers, doctors and clergy. Amongst their number this year is our very own CEO Dave Bagley MBE.   You can view the full list of award recipients here

Dave has been honoured to receive The Langton Award for Community Service. This recognises outstanding Christian social care. It gives recognition to the fact that – supported by hundreds of volunteers and staff who work with Urban Outreach – Dave has been instrumental in supporting over 22,000 of the most vulnerable people in Bolton over this past pandemic year alone.

Archbishop Justin Welby said: “During the pandemic, we have seen just how vital the contribution of churches is to the fabric of our society. As well as finding creative ways to worship together safely, churches have been feeding the hungry, reaching out to the lonely and offering hope to those struggling in the midst of the crisis.”

“This year’s Lambeth Awards recipients, not all of whom are Christians, embody this spirit of service – not just during the pandemic but, for many of them, through decades of faithful work. I commend them and their efforts, and look forward to the time when we meet to celebrate their contributions to society.”

Dave has been the Chief Executive at Urban Outreach since its formation in September 1990. He tells how he was adopted as a baby, having been left on the steps of Barnardo’s. He was educated in Billericay, Essex, trained as a chef and, after being offered several good jobs, gave it all up and trained with Youth for Christ. As part of his training he was sent to Bolton. In 1990 he and his wife Chris started Urban Outreach.

Urban Outreach began by providing accommodation for homeless young people and then moved into further areas such as homelessness, winter shelters, outreach to sex workers, work with ex-offenders and in recent years has developed a focus on food poverty, featuring innovative projects such as ‘Christmas Dinner on Jesus’. Over the years Dave has developed significant networks and partnerships across the town – all sharing a common desire to ensure that the most vulnerable and disadvantaged are provided with compassionate care and effective support.

The Archbishop’s citation goes on to say:  “Urban Outreach is the most significant ministry of Christian social action in Bolton and possibly Greater Manchester. Dave’s whole ministry in church and society is outstanding in quality and creativity, supporting the most vulnerable people in society; he remains a truly humble (and funny) person, dependent on God in prayer and is motivated by his faith in Jesus Christ and his love for people”.

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