Jamaican-born Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II speaks of “institutional racism”

Rose-Hudson-Wilkin-_151006k

Queen Elizabeth II’s chaplain Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin, tipped to become one of Britain’s first women bishops, said Saturday that the Church of England is struggling with “institutional racism,” Agence France Presse reports.

Jamaican-born Hudson-Wilkin, a chaplain to the monarch and also to parliament’s lower House of Commons, told The Times newspaper that she had been a victim of racism in her ministry.

The church’s second-highest cleric, John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York, is of Ugandan origin.

But Hudson-Wilkin asked why there were not more people of minority ethnic backgrounds in leadership roles within England’s state church.

“There’s still an element of racism running through people’s veins,” the 51-year-old said of Britain.

“I’ve had people who did not want me to do a funeral. I can smile because it’s their sheer ignorance, I feel sorry for them. I know that it’s not about me, it’s about them.”

She is worried about a sense of prejudice in the Church of England hierarchy.

Only 15 of the 467 members of the General Synod, the Church’s governing body, are from black or South Asian backgrounds.

“We need to ask why there are not more people of minority ethnic backgrounds in leadership within the Church,” said the mother of three.

“We have been encouraging people to stand and people have been putting themselves forward and have not been elected. I think there is a level of racism around that.”

Hudson-Wilkin, also a vicar in Hackney, east London, put herself forward for the Synod a few years ago but was not elected.

“It did not occur to them to ensure that one of the priests elected should be from an ethnic minority — even the ones who stand up Sunday after Sunday in front of a predominantly black congregation,” she said.

“I’m not one of these people who lifts up a stone to look for racism.

“But that shook me because I thought, ‘My God, it’s as if we don’t exist’.

“That told me very clearly that they don’t give a damn about the congregations that they serve.

“The Church, although it has made a lot of steps forward, is still struggling with institutional racism.”

The General Synod failed to pass legislation last month that would have permitted women bishops. Hudson-Wilkin, who came to Britain in 1985, was tipped to become one of the first.

“The whole women bishops thing is crazy,” she said.

“I’d like to see the church going with the courage of its conviction and say, ‘We’re having women bishops, full stop’.”

For the original report go to http://www.rnw.nl/english/bulletin/queens-chaplain-says-church-england-has-racism-problem

5 thoughts on “Jamaican-born Chaplain to Queen Elizabeth II speaks of “institutional racism”

  1. I feel honored to have the chance to read your article. I’ve never met a Chaplin Reverend from England. My goodness! You’re writing is beautiful, strong and filled with, well, Britain. However, the issues you’ve come to see or very sad, heartbreaking. Thank you for this enlightening article, Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin. I hope to read more of your words in the future. The words “‘My God, it’s as if we don’t exist’” are more than disturbing. Thank you again.

  2. This royal wedding event was created by the Father for the world to wake up and realize that we are ONE, no matter our colour, we share what God wants us to realize and find the truth in Faith.

  3. I thought of the persistent adherence to established traditions, when while watching the royal wedding on tv, one of the commentators mentioned that women have to wear a hat and should not remove it in church.

    If there is a similar requirement for men it wasnt mentioned.

    So yeah, not only racist but sexist as well…and there may well be other “….ists” maintained. I noticed all the men were without hats in the church. Outaide the church men seemed to have an option.

  4. The owner of the vineyard is so welcoming to those who are ready to work. It is as though the mission work assigned to the church rests in a comfort zones surrounded with our own will yet it is meant for the joy of sharing going beyond the Ethiopian eunuch. The mission work that works in a mysterious manner that our saviour was fleed to an anticipated nation opening opportunity for the gospel for all nations and freeing us from selfishness, egoism, racism and in the end the joy of understanding the mystery of the cross. Some leaders of world have gladly demonstrated this love and classic example the recent royal wedding that accommodated all colours that demonstrated the beauty of creation. I have personally shared mission work with brethren of different nations and colours but having discovered the grace that governs us it has helped us go beyond any differences. This has helped many reached by Christs love. It is possible that those in the position of making policy of the church should always be led by the high calling that brings together as one body.

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