Josephine Butler Awards Presented

The Josephine Butler Trust presented five awards at a special ceremony this week.

The Trust aims to fund projects in and around Merseyside that relate to the life and work of Josephine Butler by highlighting issues such as criminal justice or domestic abuse, or that promote women’s empowerment, notably in a church setting.

Josephine Butler was one of the most revolutionary and energetic social reformers of the nineteenth century. She campaigned vigorously against the sexual exploitation of vulnerable women and children striving for legislative reform to provide some degree of protection, equality and justice. She was heavily involved in advocating for improved education for women notably access to Universities and for women’s suffrage. She is remembered on 30th May in the calendar of the Church of England –the same day as the awards ceremony.

The awards are sponsored by the Trustees in partnership with The Canon Chancellor of Liverpool Cathedral and the Officers of Church & Society.

The awards were presented by Canon Angela White (Chair of Church & Society and Chief Executive, Sefton Council for Voluntary Service), Revd Canon Alison Woodhouse (Chaplain to the Queen and Former Area Dean of Sefton), Canon Val Jackson (Cathedral Archivist and Chair, Action Group on Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns) and June Houghton (Diocesan President of the Mother’s Union). Recipients were also given an extra surprise when Pauline Lewis, Honorary Secretary for the Trust and Diocesan Secretary for The Mothers’ Union dressed up as Josephine Butler for the ceremony.

Ultan Russell, Chair of the Josephine Butler Memorial Trust and Director of Church and Society at the Diocese of Liverpool said: “When choosing the recipients of these scholarships, we asked ourselves, ‘If Josephine Butler were alive today, what would she be doing?’ All of these recipients are clearly keeping Josephine Butler’s ideals alive, but more importantly they are making them tangible and impactful in today’s society. They are living their faith in the same way that she did.”

See the full set of photos on facebook

Read some of the intercessions used on the day (using Josephine's own words)

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Recipients of the Award

Josephine Butler Scholarship: £1,000 for a lay or ordained church member to undertake a trip on a theme related to the life and work of Josephine Butler. Awarded to: The Revd Malcolm Rogers, Vicar of St Gabriel’s Huyton for his creative leadership of and participation in the Youth Pilgrimage to the Diocese of Virginia in August 2013 and follow-up activities.

Josephine Butler Award: £5,000 to a locally based Christian social and community action organisation or project: Awarded to: Adelaide House, Diocesan Council for Social Aid. This has operated to support women at the margins since 1823 and is an Approved Premise (formerly termed a Bail Hostel) for Women. The Council for Social Aid also supports work in the Diocese on domestic violence, women’s issues and penal affairs.

The Josephine Butler Schools Conference: £3,000 for a Secondary Schools Conference on the theme of social justice, inclusion and women’s empowerment. Awarded to: Board of Education of the Diocese of Liverpool.

Josephine Butler Summits and School Prize: up to £2,500 for a Summit on Domestic Abuse to be held at the Cathedral in the Autumn. Awarded to: Revd Canon Cynthia Dowdle on behalf of the partners who chair the Diocesan Women's Issues Network. Partners include the Police and Crime Commissioner, the Mothers’ Union, Church and Society, the Cathedral, the Diocesan Council for Social Aid and relevant statutory and voluntary agencies.

The Josephine Butler Schools Prize: (£2,000 for books and RE materials purchased via the Cathedral Shop for a project for 14-16 year olds on a theme related to Josephine Butler’s life and work and connected to the Summit on Domestic Abuse. Open to any Secondary Schools via their RE Departments which are based in the Beneficial Area.)

In 2013 this will be based on designing a poster and prayer about combating domestic abuse, to be used at the Domestic Violence Summit. The prize will be awarded to a school at the Domestic Violence Summit.