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Bishop Rose of Dover finally receives MBE


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The Bishop of Dover has finally received her MBE - two years after she was named in the New Year's Honours list.

The Right Reverend Rose Josephine Hudson-Wilkin was given the award for services to young people and the church in 2020.

Choral Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday, during which Bishop Rose was presented with her MBE by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lady Colgrain. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Choral Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday, during which Bishop Rose was presented with her MBE by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lady Colgrain. Picture: Barry Goodwin

However, the pandemic has delayed her receiving it until this weekend.

She was presented with the MBE during Choral Evensong at Canterbury Cathedral on Saturday, by Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lady Colgrain.

Bishop Rose said: “The letter informing me of the award came as a complete shock.

"I actually gave it to my husband to read in case I had read it incorrectly.

"Due to Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a significant delay in receiving the actual award.

Bishop Rose with the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lady Colgrain and The Dean of Canterbury, The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Bishop Rose with the Lord Lieutenant of Kent, Lady Colgrain and The Dean of Canterbury, The Very Revd Dr Robert Willis. Picture: Barry Goodwin

"In the end I opted to receive it locally in front of my ‘home crowd’.

"Having heard the citation being read, I have received it on behalf of the many people I have worked with in various capacities - and I say ‘thank you’ to them for making this award possible.

"The words that I use when I licence a new priest for ministry rings true ‘receive this ministry, which is both mine and yours’ - this award is both mine and theirs.”

Bishop Rose, the first woman black Church of England bishop, started her career as a priest in Hackney, east London.

The citation for her award states: "Everywhere she has gone, she has broken down barriers and made history.

"She has campaigned relentlessly for equality for women in the church, which paved the way for others."

After her time in Hackney, the Rev Hudson-Wilkin, was appointed as Chaplain to the Queen.

In 2010 she became the first woman appointed to the position of the 79th Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

She is an Honorary Canon at St Paul's Cathedral and a Priest Vicar of Westminster Abbey.

She moved to her current post in November 2019.

The citation adds: "She has been one of the most influential and effective ministers in the public sphere through her long service as Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons.

"She previously served as a member of the General Synod of the Church of England and also as one of the Panel Chairs of the Synod."

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