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/ 28 June 2019

Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons announced as new Bishop of Dover

The Revd Preb Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and Priest in Charge at St Mary at Hill, Eastcheap, has today been announced as the Diocese of Canterbury’s new Bishop of Dover.

Rose is currently Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, Rt Hon John Bercow MP. As Speaker’s Chaplain, Rose says the prayers for Parliament in the Chamber each morning at the beginning of the day’s business, and offers spiritual guidance to members and staff of the House.

Having held the post since 2010, Rose will step down as Speaker’s Chaplain later this year, before formally taking up her post as Bishop of Dover in November.

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, the Bishop of London, said:

 “As a priest, as Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, and as a black woman leader in the Church of England, Rose has been an inspiration during her time in the Capital. She leaves the Diocese of London with our prayers and gratitude for all she has done, particularly for how she has reinforced the role of faith at the heart of public service through her Parliamentary role.

“I believe Rose’s story should continue to encourage others from black and ethnic minority groups considering entering the priesthood. London’s diversity is one of its greatest strengths and we must continue to build a church that reflects fully the communities that we serve.”

The Revd Preb Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Bishop-designate of Dover, said:

“I have had the privilege of serving in the Diocese of London for 21 years. My life in the diocese began in The United Benefice of Holy Trinity, Dalston & All Saints, Haggerston in the Stepney Area. Today when I look back and speak about my ministry in Hackney, I describe it as the best years of my life! I really do want to thank the people of Hackney, both those in the church and those in the wider community, for their support and encouragement. It has been a privilege to serve you.

“My thanks also to the people of St Mary-at-Hill in the City, who have embraced me as their Priest in Charge over the last 5 years. I want to thank The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, who after a thorough interviewing process, decided that I was right for the job as Chaplain to the Speaker. He was being prophetic. He has been a great encourager and supporter of me in this role as his Chaplain and has been thrilled to receive the many positive comments from his colleagues across the House about my ministry.

“To the clergy who have “journeyed” with me during my time in the diocese, your companionship during the last 21 years has been deeply appreciated. I leave London with some sadness, but that is only because I have loved you the people, in all your diversity, and the place; but there is joy too in all that we have accomplished together. I take your prayers and your love with me to “the white cliffs of Dover!”

“May the love of God be with you as you continue to grow in his grace. You remain in my thoughts and prayers too.”

Rose was born and grew up in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Commissioned a Church Army Officer in 1982, her theological training took place on the West Midlands Ministerial Training Course at Queens Theological College.

She was ordained Deacon in 1991, and Priest in 1994. In 2007 she was appointed a chaplain to the Queen, before being appointed Speaker’s Chaplain in 2010.


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