Jim Shannon, Member of Parliament for Strangford in Northern Ireland, and Rev. Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the United Kingdom’s House of Commons — and a Chaplain to HM The Queen — received the 2016 UK Family Values Awards from the Church at an event held at Parliament in London on Dec. 6.
The Church in the United Kingdom presents Family Values Awards annually to individuals in the public eye whose work and influence have a significant impact on family life within society.
Elder Patrick Kearon, a General Authority Seventy and president of the Church's Europe Area — who was accompanied by his wife Sister Jennifer Kearon — praised the vision and influence of the 2016 Awards recipients:
“Jim Shannon reflects family values in his approach to his own life, and to the leadership he shows on topics of vital importance to the national and international community. You demonstrate first-hand that ‘family’ is indeed the basis of strong and stable societies — nationally and globally."
Particular emphasis was also placed on the outstanding work Jim Shannon undertakes with respect to supporting freedom of religion and belief.
“Rose Hudson-Wilkin has championed family values and Christian ethics in her personal life and in her public roles. As the 79th Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, she has displayed a steady spiritual influence amidst the often turbulent life in the House of Commons.”
Jim Shannon said that when he heard he was about to receive the award “it was certainly an encouragement to me”. He added that he hoped it would also be an encouragement to others in their own family circumstances: “That somebody was trying to help them, to make their lives a little bit better.”
“I do believe that within our society, within our community, that family is the central building block”, remarked Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin. She continued: “I will use all my time, all my energy, for praying not just for our family and our children but for all our families, all our children.”
Elder Clifford T. Herbertson, an Area Seventy, concluded the awards ceremony by addressing the challenges to family life, and potential solutions: “As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we want to join with like-minded individuals in strengthening the family — within the walls of the home itself and in broader society. We believe in family.”
Family Values Awards were first presented by the Church in the United Kingdom in 2001. David Rutley, Member of Parliament from for Macclesfield, hosted this year’s luncheon at the House of Commons. The 2016 Awards event was attended by 14 Parliamentarians from across the political spectrum.