Former Chief Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has been awarded the £1.1million Templeton Prize in honour of his decades of spiritual work.

Rabbi Sacks received the award in a ceremony in central London attended by clergy, faith leaders and dignitaries, as well as figures from the Jewish community.

The 68-year-old former Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth has spent years bringing spiritual insight to the public, authoring more than 25 books.

He led the revitalisation of Britain’s Jewish community while chief rabbi from 1991 to 2013, fighting dwindling congregations and growing secularisation across Europe.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony he warned about the dangers of “outsourcing morality”, saying: “You can’t delegate moral responsibility away. When you do, you raise expectations that cannot be met.

“And when, inevitably, they are not met, society becomes freighted with disappointment, anger, fear, esentment and blame.”

The Prince of Wales honoured Rabbi Sacks earlier this year at Clarence House when he presented him with the Templeton Prize pyramid.

Rabbi Sacks is the 46th recipient of the award, given to a person who has made “exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”.

Previous winners include retired South African archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Dalai Lama and the inaugural recipient, Mother Teresa.