The Director of the Catholic Housing Aid Society has been awarded the Cross of St Augustine for her significant contribution to social housing. Robina Rafferty received the award from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, in recognition of her work not only with CHAS but also with other housing organisations in the field of social housing and the needs of the homeless. Over the years Ms Rafferty has been a member of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Commission on Urban Priority Areas, drafting the housing chapter of Faith in the City; a founder member of the Churches National Housing Coalition which brought together 500 organisations concerned with homelessness; and since 1989 she has been Clerk to the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Homelessness and Housing need. In 1998 the CHAS director received an MBE from the state for 'services to homeless people'. Four years on the Church of England has aso recognised her contribution with an award rarely bestowed upon a Catholic. The Cross of St. Augustine, first awarded in 1965, is more usually given to clergy and lay people of foreign churches abroad who have contributed to advancing friendly relations with the churches of the Anglican communion. "More recently it has been given for outstanding service within the Church of England, whether centrally or in the diocese, or the Anglican Communion as a whole, and also to those who contributed to advancing relations between the various Christian communions and churches," said a spokesperson for Lambeth Palace.
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