First black female Bishop calls for diverse Church of England leadership

Mon 01 Jul 2019
By Press Association

The woman who is to become the Church of England's first black female bishop has called for greater diversity in the institution's leadership.

Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, who is chaplain to the Queen and Commons Speaker John Bercow, also spoke about recently being racially abused in the street.

Rev Hudson-Wilkin celebrated the announcement that she will take up her new post as Bishop of Dover in November as an important but long-awaited step for the country.


She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that the move should broadcast to the nation that the Church is diverse.

"It's been a long time coming and we're working at it and we are going to hold them (the Church) to account," she said.

Rev Hudson-Wilkin has previously accused the CoE of "institutional racism".

"I think, like any institution who have worked in a particular way and style for a long time, it is always going to be difficult to see the change that is necessary," she said on Monday.

"The reality is minority ethnic membership makes up a significant part of the Church and this must be reflected in its leadership, not just with one person here and another person there, but it must begin to filter through so that young people in minority ethnic background growing up within the life of the Church, within the life of this country, can see images of themselves reflected throughout."

The Caribbean-born chaplain spoke about being racially abused in the street recently, when someone shouted "Go back to Africa".

"And I'm not quite sure which country in Africa they wanted me to go back to," she added.


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