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Rabbi gets honour

by: Leslie Bunder - Last updated: 2006-05-17

Rabbi Tony Bayfield

Rabbi Tony Bayfield

The head of the Movement for Reform Judaism, Rabbi Tony Bayfield has received a Lambeth Degree from the Archbishop of Canterbury for his interfaith work and leadership as president of the Council of Christians and Jews.

Rabbi Bayfield is only the third British Jew to get the degree following former Chief Rabbi Lord Jakobovits in 1987 and current Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks in 2001.

"The award of this degree is a signal recognition of the immense contribution made by Rabbi Tony Bayfield to the field of interfaith relations and a tribute to the part he has played in guiding the work of the Council of Christians and Jews," said a spokesman for Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop.

Rabbi Bayfield will collect his Doctorate of Divinity at Lambeth Palace in July along with seven other people that have also been recognised.

"I am deeply moved by this honour. The theology of Interfaith relations has long been a special interest of mine. But I do see this as a recognition of the leadership role that progressive Judaism has taken in this area," said Rabbi Bayfield. "One of the revelations of modern times is that the faiths of the world can only exist in relation to each other and there can be no peace in the world without peace between the religions."