We are delighted that the Revd Bassi Mirzania has received the Alphege Award for Evangelism and Witness from the Archbishop of Canterbury in the 2021 Lambeth Awards. The citation reads, “For her nearly 20 years’ tireless and exceptional service as founding Chaplain to the Persian/Iranian community in Great Britain.”
After more than 20 years’ service in the social responsibility departments of the Dioceses of London and Guildford, Bassi sensed a call to leave paid employment to focus on ministering to Iranians in the UK. Large numbers of Christians in the Persian community were turning to her for help with worship and training, discipling new converts and practical matters such as asylum applications.
Following ordination in 2004, reliant on a pension, small honorarium and expenses, she has since travelled the length and breadth of England to meet bishops, clergy and more than 5,000 Iranians; has spoken in more than 250 parish churches and many cathedrals; and has worked tirelessly pioneering ministry among the growing numbers of Iranians joining the Church of England. Bassi has played a significant, largely unrecognised, part in fostering and supporting the phenomenal growth in numbers of Iranians coming to Christ in the Church of England over the last two decades.
As a result of her mentoring, support and campaigning there are now ordained Iranians in the Church of England and three bishops with episcopal oversight of ministry among the thousands of Iranians scattered across the Church of England. Without any administrative support, she has replied to thousands of emails, phone calls and letters offering advice, information and prayer.
She has translated baptism, marriage and funeral services into Farsi, officiated at baptisms and marriages, and led monthly Persian Fellowship meetings across the country. She has also provided expert evidence in asylum appeals and assisted clergy dealing with asylum seekers. Her solo efforts have been outstanding.
It has also been an honour to be a member of Bassi’s pastoral support group and support this award.
Find out more about the Persian Anglican Ministry