Reverend Dr. Rose Hudson-Wilkin has made history by becoming the Church of England’s first black female bishop.
Dr. Hudson-Wilkin was consecrated as the Bishop of Dover at a ceremony at St Paul’s Cathedral in London, the UK earlier this month.
The Jamaican-born religious leader was also the first woman to be appointed to the position of Chaplain to the Speaker of the UK’s House of Commons, reports Evening Standard.
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Dr. Hudson-Wilkin also served as a priest in the London Borough of Hackney for more than a decade and led prayers at the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in May 2018. She is also a chaplain to Queen Elizabeth.
The 58-year-old who joined the ministry at the age of 14 was quoted by BBC as saying: “Beginning this new ministry, there is a sense of awe in it all. But also something refreshing about being open to the new things that God has in store – not just for me as a person taking on this new leadership role, but for our diocese as a whole.”
The Most Rev Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said through much struggle and suffering in her life Hudson-Wilkin “has become one of the most exceptional of Christian leaders showing, in word and deed, confidence in Jesus Christ as life, liberty, and love.”
“We welcome her, warmly confident that God who has led her this far will walk with her and speak through her.”
Hudson-Wilkin will be installed at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 November.
Rev Dr. Hudson-Wilkin was born and grew up in Montego Bay. She was ordained deacon in 1991 and priest in 1994.
For 16 and a half years she served as a priest in Hackney.
In 2007 she was appointed as a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen and in 2010, she became the 79th (and first female) Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.
In 2014, she additionally became the Priest in Charge of the city Church, St Mary-at-Hill.
She has served as a member of the General Synod of the Church of England and also as one of the Panels of Chairs of the Synod. She represented the Church of England at the World Council of Churches in Zimbabwe and Brazil and served as its priest representative on the Anglican Consultative Council.
She is a Fellow in Public Theology at Virginia Theological Seminary, USA.