Church of England to Appoint Bishop for BAME Communities
The Church of England has unveiled plans to appoint a new bishop with the aim of connecting with black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities.
The move has been prompted by concerns that the church is viewed as too “quintessentially English” – although last month, in a move welcomed by many, the Nigerian-born Bishop of Woolwich, Woyin Karowei Dorgu, became the first black bishop to be appointed by the church in 20 years.
According to the Bishop of Leicester Martyn Snow, the new Bishop of Loughborough will be based in the Diocese of Leicester and will have the specific task of ensuring greater representation and engagement of BAME Christians and building relationships with other faith communities.
The post will be filled later this year following the retirement of the current Assistant Bishop of Leicester, Christopher Boyle, in May. As well as being the first new Church of England post created since 1987, it is also the first Church of England post to have a focus on diversity and inclusion, with the aim of engaging BAME Christians and ensuring that congregations reflect “cultural changes” in the area.
Leicester has a population which is almost 50 per cent non-white and 37 per cent Asian.
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.
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.” Speaking to The Guardian, Bishop Snow said that the Church of England was “quintessentially English” and needed to be more inclusive to- wards other communities.
He said: “In the 1950s and ’60s, when immigrants came from the Caribbean and elsewhere, they did not get a warm welcome in the CofE. We have to hold our hands up to that. They went off to set up other churches, and we’re now facing the legacy.”
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SOURCE: The Voice