As he marks his retirement from his roles as Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture and Assistant Bishop in the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn, Dr Stephen Pickard has been honoured by a prestigious international Anglican Award.
Bishop Stephen was among recipients of the 2022 Lambeth Awards given to 37 people across four continents on 8 March. Bishop Stephen received The Cross of St Augustine for Services to the Anglican Communion. The Archbishop of Canterbury stated that the Awards were 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. Musicians, activists, clergy, peacemakers and educators are included, alongside people whose quiet dedication to their work hasn’t drawn the public eye. The full list of recipients and the awards they received can be found on the Anglican Communion website. The Cross of St Augustine was presented to Bishop Stephen at his farewell from the ACC&C by the Chair of the Board, Bishop Sarah Macneil.
Bishop Stephen’s citation for the award of The Cross of St Augustine stated:
‘For his significant service to the Anglican Communion as a theologian, teacher and bishop, and in particular in his service of the Inter-Anglican Theological and Doctrinal Commission and the Inter-Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order.
Stephen Pickard’s ministry has encompassed pastoral, theological and teaching work. It has also spread beyond his native Australia, taking him around the world and around the Anglican Communion. He has served in parochial and university appointments in Australia and England and as a bishop in the Diocese of Adelaide.
Latterly he has served as an assistant bishop in the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn alongside his role as a Professor of Theology and Executive Director of the Australian Centre for Christianity and Culture, Charles Sturt University. He has, over many years, been a significant contributor to the theological life of the Anglican Church of Australia, not least in the fields of mission and ecclesiology.
When the theological, doctrinal and ecumenical work of the Anglican Communion was gathered together under the Inter- Anglican Standing Commission on Unity, Faith and Order (IASCUFO), the Secretary General turned to Bishop Stephen to be a member of the Commission. He came to this after a term of office (2001-2007) on the Communion’s Theological and Doctrinal Commission (IATDC). He served throughout IASCUFO’s first phase (2009-2020) as Vice-Chair, taking over as Chair in 2018. IASCUFO produced a number of important texts on the identity of Anglicanism, on the nature of the church, on ecumenical relations and on the human person in relation to the creator.
From 2010 he served as a member of the Steering Group of TEAC (Theological Education in the Anglican Communion) being principle drafter of the report on Theological Education to the Anglican Consultative Council in 2012 (ACC15). In 2011 he was installed by the Archbishop of Canterbury as a Six Preacher of Canterbury Cathedral.
His contribution to the development of an understanding of Anglican theology, missiology and ecclesiology, to the theological life of the Communion and to the mission and ministry of the local church in the modern world has been outstanding.’
Bishop Mark Short said the award affirmed the gift of Stephen’s scholarship, both to the Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn and to the wider Anglican Communion.
‘I have personally benefitted from Stephen’s deep ecclesial wisdom. In the often tangled landscape of the contemporary church he is able to identify ways forward that are both creative and faithful to our received tradition.’