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Rose Hudson-Wilkin to be installed as Bishop of Dover at Canterbury Cathedral

The first ever black female bishop will be installed at Canterbury Cathedral today.

It comes nearly two weeks after the Rt Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin was formally welcomed as the Bishop of Dover at St Paul's Cathedral in London.

Today's ceremony in Canterbury is a follow-up to that.

The Rev Hudson-Wilkin said: "I was lucky to be brought up in Montego Bay, Jamaica, and spend my formative years there so it meant by the time I got to the UK I was already cooked and formed and made.

"I believe that faith is who we are and if faith is who we are than I believe it should be lived with great conviction and confidence and I hope that is what I bring.

"I came here and trained with the church army, because I knew women were allowed to be involved in leadership roles in the church army.

"Men and women were trained as evangelists and we worked in prisons, churches, hospitals, all over.

Rose Hudson-Wilkin with the Archbishop of Canterbury
Rose Hudson-Wilkin with the Archbishop of Canterbury

"I was 14 when I first had my sense of calling to ministry, but women weren't allowed in ordained ministry hence why I first began at the church army.

"I was eventually ordained deacon in 1991 and in 1994 woman were first allowed to be priests and I was ordained in the first batch ordained in Lichfield.

"To be in the role [a female bishop] is a surprising one for me, I never imagined I would be, it still feels I am opening a window and looking through at myself in that role and it may take a while to adjust to that, but I'm on that journey.

"Looking back at my beginnings in Jamaica I would never have imagined."

Rev Hudson-Wilkin explained how becoming the first black female bishop was still overwhelming, but she didn't think about it too much.

"It's like that song Jenny from the bloke," she said.

Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin was appointed as the Bishop of Dover earlier this year
Reverend Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin was appointed as the Bishop of Dover earlier this year


"I'm Rose from the block. I don't walk around thinking I'm a woman, I'm black, I'm simply Rose."

She replaces the now retired Bishop of Dover, the Rt Rev Trevor Willmott.

He held the post for 10 years and retired on May 12 this year.

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