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/ 27 March 2012

Hackney rector’s “outstanding community” award

Fr Rob Wickham, Rector of St John at Hackney Church, has been given the Speaker of Hackney’s award for outstanding community building. Recognising his work in the community during and after the riots last summer, Fr Rob was given the award by Hackney Council’s current Speaker, Councillor Susan Fajana-Thomas, during a Communities Celebration Evening.

Fr Rob, alongside other clergy, including the Bishop of Stepney, the Rt Revd Adrian Newman, took to the streets of east London during the riots to help and pray for those in need. Only a week after the start of the riots he organised a tea party that brought together 400 people from across east London, on Clarence Road, one of the areas worst affected by the riots, helping the community to begin the healing process.

In the weeks and months since, he has continued to support local people and businesses as they have dealt with the aftermath of the riots and has secured some money from the Diocese’s Emergency4London Fund to support young people seeking paid employment.

Speaking about the award, Fr Rob said:

"The events both during and after the riots remain at the forefront on my mind. After them I saw the community at its best, during them I glimpsed aspects of our community at its most broken. It was a great privilege to be present in the midst of both, standing side by side with colleagues, strangers and friends, and it is to them that I dedicate my award from The Speaker of Hackney for recognition of Community Building.

The issues raised before, during and after the disturbances need constant attention, and together we can build for a better community where perfect love can cast out all fear."

Fr Rob was one of three winners on the night, which included an Award for the Soldier of the Year awarded to Lance Corporal Edward Sonnex and Primary School of the Year, which went to Queensbridge Primary School.

Photo Credit: Hackney Council.


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