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International reconciliation specialist and Archbishop of Canterbury adviser honoured by university

Canon Sarah Snyder (centre) with Professor Rob Trimble, Pro Vice Chancellor (academic), and Vice Chancellor Professor Julie Mennell, from the University of Cumbria

A special adviser to the Archbishop of Canterbury says she is thrilled to receive an Honorary Fellowship from the University of Cumbria.

The honour has been conferred upon Canon Sarah Snyder by the institution in recognition of her lifelong and outstanding work to promote faith-based conciliation around the world.

It was presented on the last day of seven graduation ceremonies taking place at Carlisle Cathedral this week celebrating the achievements of almost 1,000 graduands.

Canon Sarah, a theologian specialising in Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, joined the senior team at Lambeth Palace in 2016 as adviser for reconciliation to the Archbishop of Canterbury, a role once held by Terry Waite.

Her work involves supporting the Anglican Church to be an international agent of reconciliation and she advises the Archbishop on appropriate conflict interventions.

A trained mediator, Canon Sarah has worked for many years with communities and senior religious figures around the world to promote faith-based ways of finding peace and rebuilding relationships.

Canon Sarah, who lives near Keswick in the Lake District, is also the founding director of the Rose Castle Foundation, an international centre of reconciliation based near Dalston in north Cumbria.

Canon Sarah said: “At Rose Castle we are passionate about equipping the next generation of peacemakers to cross deep divides in their own families, communities and places of work.  We look forward to exploring ways of working with students and staff of the University in our shared commitment to the people of Cumbria.”

Her early career, as a documentary producer for BBC Television, included time spent living and working with the Turareg nomads and other groups in the Sahara Desert. This was followed by further work in Peru, Bangladesh and Africa as well as producing work on emerging peace makers in Israel/Palestine, Mozambique, former Yugoslavia, Bosnia and Northern Ireland.

From 2014 to 2016, she was Director of Partnerships with Religions for Peace International, affiliated to the United Nations.

Sarah has lived near Keswick for almost 20 years and has raised four children through Keswick School.

In 2009 she founded the Rose Castle Foundation and continues to develop and grow the Grade I listed site as a centre for faith based reconciliation.

University vice chancellor Professor Julie Mennell said: “We’re delighted that Sarah has accepted her Honorary Fellowship. It means a lot to have someone of Sarah’s calibre joining our University family and it reinforces what we seek to exemplify and achieve.”

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