Abbot Stuart Burns from Mucknell Abbey is one of over 35 people from around the world who have been recognised with awards for outstanding service to the church in a ceremony at Lambeth Palace.

Archbishop Justin Welby personally presented the awards, which recognise outstanding service in different fields, including those of Archbishop Justin’s ministry priorities: prayer and the Religious life; reconciliation; and evangelism and witness.

Abbot Stuart Burns received the Dunstan Award for Prayer and the Religious Life, for his outstanding contribution both to the Burford Community and its move to Mucknell Abbey and his wider involvement nationally in developing and supporting Fresh Expressions of the Religious Life. 

Archbishop Justin said: 

"Abbot Stuart Burns spent the first twenty years of his ministry in parish and university chaplaincy contexts. Since 1989, as a member of the Order of St Benedict, he has followed a calling to the life of a religious, becoming Prior and subsequently Abbot of the Anglican Benedictine Community of men and women now at Mucknell Abbey. 

"Since he became Abbot in 2001 he has operated in a very consultative way, taking the Community through a whole series of major developments in their life. Without his energy and personal holiness the move to Mucknell and the development of the ‘Alongsiders’ programme, which allows those exploring a calling to the religious life to live in the Community for up to a year, might well not have happened. The ‘Alongsiders’ initiative has also served as a template for others but his influence on the development of the religious life extends far beyond that. In the Diocese of Oxford the experimental Christian communities ‘home’ and ‘MayBe’ gained a great deal from his early interest and support. He has also provided wisdom for other Fresh Expressions exploring different forms of the Religious Life.

"His is a quiet ministry, as perhaps befits someone being nominated for this award, but it is outstandingly effective."