GIVING HER first sermon as Bishop of Dover, The Rt Revd Dr Rose Hudson-Wilkin urged people to refuse to be divided, instead focusing on their common humanity.
Speaking at her installation at Canterbury Cathedral, she said: “Let us think what it might look like for us here in Kent, if the name of Jesus enabled us to be a unifying body. That instead of focusing on the things that separate us, we focussed on the things that we share in common.
“What if we were to discover that God, through Jesus does indeed sneak out those great doors and is right there in the community with us, urging us to think of his justice, mercy and his compassion for the whole world.
“What if we were to recognise his presence as we seek to ensure that the resources we have been blessed with is not for amassing personal wealth but to be shared in such a way that our brothers and sisters in poverty is no longer in need?”
She added: “We are deeply mistaken if the kind of relationship we seek with God is so personal and private that we exclude our brothers and sisters around us or indeed as we are in Kent, on the frontier if we exclude our brothers and sisters from another mother!”
Bishop Rose urged those present to focus afresh on Jesus, opening themselves up to God’s transforming power: “He is ready to walk with us, today I invite you to shed the cultural barriers that have locked him into special boxes and so called religious sites and enable the spirit to change our lives so that we can in turn be changing other lives through the message of the Good News.”
The Rt Revd Dr Rose Hudson-Wilkin was consecrated as Bishop of Dover at St Paul’s Cathedral on November 19 and installed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Honourable Justin Welby, at Canterbury Cathedral on 30 November.