Awards for Church Army evangelist and Coptic Orthodox Church Bishop
Two prominent Christian leaders have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list ...
Two prominent Christian leaders have been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours list.
Church Army Evangelist Maureen Greaves (right) is to receive the British Empire Medal (BEM) and Bishop Angaelos (below) of the Coptic Orthodox Church in the United Kingdom will receive the honour of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to International Religious Freedom.
Maureen received intense media attention following the brutal murder of her husband, Alan (68), on 24 December 2012 as he walked to church to play the organ at the late night Christmas service. Alan was an organist and lay preacher at St Saviour’s Church, High Green, in Sheffield. The couple married in 1972 and have four children. They both dedicated much of their lives to church and community work.
In July 2014, at the end of the trial of the two men convicted for Alan's murder, Maureen said: “It's through God's mercy that I have been able to extend real and true forgiveness," adding that she prayed that they would find “true repentance” in jail.
Maureen’s faith, compassion and example of Christian forgiveness have been inspirational to many. She has rebuilt her life and continues to proclaim God's unconditional love.
Following the news that she is to receive the BEM, Maureen said: "Alan is constantly in my thoughts and I continue to miss the life that we shared together. I am amazed and humbled that the Queen should honour me in this way and I accept it on behalf of both Alan and myself."
Church Army Chief Executive, Mark Russell, said: "Many people have been impacted by the story of Alan’s death and by Maureen’s courage in forgiving those who killed him. She is an inspiration and the whole Church Army family is proud of her. We are thrilled that the Queen has honoured Maureen in this way."
Maureen was commissioned as a Church Army Evangelist in 2008. She continues to work with St Saviour's Church.
Bishop Angaelos (right), who is conducting and speaking at the inaugural young adults convention in Vancouver, Canada, said the following in response to the announcement:
“I am humbled by this award because I see it as my role and duty to advocate for religious freedom as part of my ministry. While I am thankful for this great honour, it also comes with a sense of sadness that in the 21st Century we still need to defend people’s God-given rights and freedoms in this way.
"I consider this an award to every person who has worked with and supported me along the way and pray that God rewards and blesses them for all they have done and all they will continue to do. I must also express my sincere gratitude to Her Majesty The Queen and the Prime Minister for considering this cause worthy of such public acknowledgement.”
The formal investiture will take place in the coming months.