Church of England’s First Black Female Bishop Calls for More Minority Leaders

The leadership of the Church of England needs to better reflect the minorities who make up its congregations, the UK’s first black female bishop has said.

Caribbean-born Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin said her appointment should broadcast how diverse the Church was.

She described being racially abused in the street recently, when a passer-by told her to “go back to Africa”.

Currently chaplain to the Queen and Commons speaker, she will become Bishop of Dover in November.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Rev Hudson-Wilkin said: “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.

“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.

“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.”

She added: “Visibility is important because if people can see it, then though know they belong.”

Rev Hudson-Wilkin has openly criticised the Church’s lack of diversity and has accused it of “institutional racism” in the past.