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Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, wins Templeton Prize

Jean Vanier (CNS)

Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, has won the 2015 Templeton Prize.

Mr Vanier, 86, was in attendance at a news conference in London today, where the announcement was made.

Valued at £1.1 million, the Templeton Prize is one of the world’s largest annual awards given to an individual who “has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension, whether through insight, discovery, or practical works.”

L’Arche is a network of international communities that brings together people with and without learning disabilities to live and work together. It was founded by Mr Varnier, a French-Canadian, in 1964.

According to a statement on the Templeton Prize website, Mr Vanier “supports a culture of belonging and social justice. He encourages and nurtures dialogue and unity among Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and other faiths through lectures, conferences and retreats around the world.” He has also written more than 30 books.

Previous Templeton Prize winners include the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu.

The Prize will be awarded on May 18 at the church of St Martin-in-the-Fields in London.