The Josephine Butler Awards were able to give out an amazing eight awards this year thanks to a generous legacy gift.
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 awards were presented as follows:
The Liverpool City Centre Centre Methodist Church, ‘Somewhere Else,’ known as ‘The Bread Church’ was awarded The Josephine Butler Award One - £5,000. The Bread Church was created in 1999 and works very hard to be a welcoming, inclusive and safer space. Over 11,000 people have met there in the last five years alone. Visitors include young families and single people, school leavers seeking volunteer experience or seeking employment, retired people, those with physical or mental disabilities with support workers, survivors of abuse, people dealing with mental health issues or participating in rehabilitation programmes, the homeless and asylum seekers. Whatever your current experience of Church is, the Bread Church will aim to enhance through what they refer to as their Outrageous Hospitality.
Victory Outreach Church Liverpool was awarded The Josephine Butler Award Two - £5,000. Victory Outreach is the recognised leader in the field of sustainable transformational ministry. Since 1967, as a worldwide organisation, they have helped thousands of people take control of their lives, including some of the most violent & deprived areas of the world. The first Victory Outreach home in Liverpool opened in February of last year and in the last 15 months has already seen (and celebrated) at least 9 men graduate a yearlong programme of rehabilitation in order to be drug and alcohol free.
Volunteer of the Year Award - The Recipient receives £200 of John Lewis vouchers to spend it on themselves and also nominate a charity of their choice to receive £1,000. The 2018 recipient is Mr Vincent Hessey. Vince attends The Bridge Chapel and has been involved with Liverpool Homeless Outreach for 23 years.
Schools Partnership: For many years we have sponsored a Day event here at the Cathedral to celebrate the life and work of Josephine Butler with younger Secondary School Students. The success of the Day has meant that the Trustees have agreed to double the grants to the Diocesan Board of Education from £3,000 to £6,000 thus enabling two groups of students to benefit.
The Josephine Butler Fellowship Award of £1,000 was awarded to Bethany Collins to enable her to be a member of the delegation to Kumasi Ghana as part of the Reconciliation Triangle linking Kumasi, Liverpool and Virginia.
The next two Special Awards went to two organisations who typify the word reconciliation and whose work has gained national and indeed international recognition. These two awards also are of £5,000
Liverpool Community Spirit was awarded for their outstanding work on delivering innovative community education programmes that promote the inter-faith dimensions of community cohesion, personal and community development across Merseyside.
Together for the Common Good works to bring alive the principles and practice of the common good and encourages people to work together across their differences. They do this by bringing together the gifts of different Christian traditions in workshops, events, debates, online resources, community projects - and relationship building across church traditions.
An award for the Summit of £3,600 has been made to Churches Together in the Merseyside Region’s Koln-Liverpool Peace Conference on the theme “Women, the Church and Peace. It will consist of a dramatic presentation, worship, inputs from Koln and Liverpool and workshops. It will be co-sponsored with Hope University at the Creative Campus in Everton on Saturday 24 November from 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Sunday there will be a joint Service of Evensong at the Metropolitan Cathedral at 3.00 p.m. to celebrate the Koln Liverpool partnership.