THE RT Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin has been consecrated as the Bishop of Dover at a special service at St Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Hudson-Wilkin was consecrated alongside the Rt Revd Olivia Graham, who was made Bishop of Reading. She is the first black female bishop to take on the post.
She said: “Beginning this new ministry, there is a sense of awe in it all. But also something refreshing about being open to the new things that God has in store – not just for me as a person taking on this new leadership role, but for our diocese as a whole. I’m excited – I’ve got lots of new people to meet, to get to know, and that fills me with joy.”
The Bishop of Dover is the suffragan Bishop in the Diocese of Canterbury and holds additional delegated responsibilities for oversight of the diocese.
Hudson-Wilkin succeeds the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott who retired as Bishop of Dover in May this year. She will be installed at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 November.
Welcoming her appointment into his diocese, the Most Revd and Right Honourable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “When in October Rose stepped down as Chaplain to the Speaker, the tributes from all sides showed her pastoral, prophetic and faith sharing gifts.
“Even in times of division she was a point of unity and hope, to those of any or no faith. Through much struggle and suffering in her life she has become one of the most exceptional of Christian leaders showing, in word and deed, confidence in Jesus Christ as life, liberty and love. We welcome her, warmly confident that God who has led her this far will walk with her and speak through her.”
Delivering the sermon at the consecration, the Most Revd and Right Honourable John Sentamu, Archbishop of York, said to Hudson-Wilkin and Graham: “Be missionary Bishops who delight in God – and who are exposed daily to the vision of heaven and the tragedies of humankind. And loitering with intent at the intersection where the love of God in Jesus Christ and human need meet. When heaven touches earth, God-incidents happen.”