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St Paul’s welcomes the Dalai Lama as he receives Templeton Prize

The 40th Templeton Prize has been awarded to His Holiness The Dalai Lama at a ceremony in St Paul’s Cathedral.

The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, Tenzin Gyatso, received the £1.1m prize this afternoon (14 May) for his work in encouraging scientific research and harmony among religions.

His Holiness spent much of the day at the Cathedral, taking part in a press conference before the ceremony in the afternoon.

The awards ceremony included addresses by Lord Griffiths and Dr John Templeton Jr, and was punctuated with music by the Cathedral Choir and American opera singer Jessye Norman, who sang Amazing Grace and He’s Got The Whole World In His Hands.

Canon Mark Oakley, Treasurer of St Paul’s said: "We deeply admire the Dalai Lama’s tireless energy which, over half a century, has taught us all that the spiritual quest of humanity lies at the heart of who we are and deepens our human potential. He embodies a truth that lies deep in our own Christian faith – that the spiritual life is best translated in living a life of compassion in which we seek to understand others different from ourselves and peacefully struggle to uphold the dignity and rights of all.

"We give thanks for the ways in which the Dalai Lama has defended the right of the Tibetan people to enjoy their own culture, language and religion.

"As a spiritual leader, he has promoted the humane values of compassion, forgiveness, tolerance and self-discipline.While committed to his own beliefs, he has also promoted harmony and understanding among the world’s religious traditions by asking us all to respect one another and recognize the value of each other’s traditions. As a Christian cathedral and community in a city of such diversity, we thank the Dalai Lama for his commitment to peace among peoples of religion and thankful for his presence with us, for our conversation and time together, we renew again our own commitment to do likewise.

"We warmly congratulate His Holiness on being awarded the Templeton Prize and assure him of our prayers and affection.”

Images from the visit of the Dalai Lama are now available on the 
St Paul's Cathedral Facebook page.