Church of England To Appoint a New Bishop To Reach Out To Ethnic Minorities

Church of England To Appoint a New Bishop To Reach Out To Ethnic Minorities

The Revd Prebendary Dr Karowei Dorgu recently became the first black bishop to be consecrated in the Church for 20 years

The Church of England will appoint a new bishop to reach out to ethnic minorities because it is seen as too “quintessentially English”.

The new Bishop of Loughborough, based in the Diocese of Leicester, will have a specific focus on creating new churches which reflect the “cultural changes” in the area, according to the Bishop of Leicester Martyn Snow.

It will be the first brand-new post created since 1987, when the See of Brixworth was established.

It is also the first ever to have a focus on ethnic diversity. The role includes responsibility for “enabling greater representation and engagement of BAME Christians” as well as “building relationships with other faith communities”.

The Bishop will focus particularly on younger people as well as ethnic minorities, and work in rural and deprived areas.

The post will be filled later this year following the retirement of the current Assistant Bishop of Leicester Christopher Boyle in May.

Bishop Snow told the General Synod, the Church’s governing body, in February, that of 100 churches in Leicester which had a majority black and ethnic minority congregation, just three were Anglican.

Leicester has a population which is almost 50 per cent non-white and 37 per cent Asian.

He said: “If we truly want to be inclusive of all who live in our parishes, then we have to heed the cultural changes and challenges within our cities.”

On Monday he told the Guardian that the Church of England was “quintessentially English” and needed to be more welcoming to other cultures.

Bishop Snow said: “In the 1950s and 60s, when immigrants came from the Caribbean and elsewhere, they did not get a warm welcome in the C of E. We have to hold our hands up to that.

“They went off to set up other churches and we’re now facing the legacy.”

The proposal received support from the Synod, and the Queen’s permission will now be sought.

The Church of England has been focusing on attracting younger and more diverse congregations amid concerns about declining numbers and ageing clergy.

According to official Church of England figures, just 3.4 per cent of clergy were non-white in 2015, a figure which has barely changed since 2012. Just 1.2 per cent were black African or Caribbean.

This month Nigerian-born Bishop of Woolwich Woyin Karowei Dorgu became the first black bishop to be appointed by the church in 20 years.

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SOURCE: Telegraph – Olivia Rudgard