News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. Nov. 22, 2019: The first black woman to become a Church of England bishop is a Caribbean-born immigrant.
Jamaican-born Rev Dr. Rose Hudson-Wilkin was consecrated as the Bishop of Dover during a ceremony in London at St Paul’s Cathedral on Nov. 19th. She will now be installed at Canterbury Cathedral on November 30th.
“I’m excited, I’ve got lots of new people to meet, to get to know, and that fills me with joy,” she commented on the honour.
The Bishop of Dover runs the Diocese of Canterbury on behalf of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The former chaplain to the speaker of the house succeeds the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott who retired in May. Dr Hudson-Wilkin, who is also a chaplain to the Queen, led prayers at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018.
She was 14 when she joined the ministry and said she never thought becoming a bishop would be possible.
Born in Montego Bay, Jamaica, Hudson-Wilkin was raised by her father and aunt Pet after her mother left for England when she was born. She did not meet her mother again until she was nine. The young Rose was educated at Montego Bay High School, an all-girls secondary school in Montego Bay.
In 1982, Hudson-Wilkin travelled to the UK to train at the Church Army college in the West Midlands. Having completed the West Midlands Ministerial Training Course, she was made a deacon in the Church of England, at Petertide 1991 by Keith Sutton, Bishop of Lichfield, at Lichfield Cathedral.
From 1991 to 1994, she served as the parish deacon of St Matthew’s Church, Wolverhampton and was ordained a priest on April 23, 1994 in the first few weeks that the Church of England ordained women to the priesthood.
From 1995 to 1998, she was assistant curate of St Andrew’s Church, West Bromwich. During this time, she also worked with the Committee on Black Anglican Concern.
In 1998, she took up the role as vicar of Holy Trinity Church, Dalston and All Saints Church, Haggerston, an inner-city parish in Hackney, London. She was appointed Chaplain to the Queen in 2008. In 2010, she was appointed Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons in addition to her parish work.
In March 2013, she was made a prebendary of St Paul’s Cathedral in recognition of “her service to the Church, community and most recently as Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons,” and in October 2014, became Priest-in-Charge of St Mary-at-Hill, City of London before her recent appointment.