Meet Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Church of England's first black female bishop

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Sejal Karia


ITV News has been highlighting the stories of the people forging real change in our world during Black History Month.

They're the trailblazers building a legacy of fairness across our nation.

Rose Hudson-Wilkin is the first black woman to become a bishop in the Church of England.


The high ceilings and hallowed precincts of Canterbury Cathedral have borne witness to history across the centuries. Now a new chapter is being written by Rose Hudson-Wilkin.

A child of the Windrush generation and her journey has not been without its challenges.

"People in the past have said for example: 'I don’t want you to bury my father or my mother, I don’t want you officiating at the funeral.'

"My God it hurts, but you know I pull myself together and I’ll say: 'Rose you do a damn good funeral they’re going to miss out on'," the bishop explains.

Ms Hudson-Wilkin was installed as the Bishop of Dover in a ceremony in 2019. A role she wants to use to effect change in a Church she says has been painfully slow to act on racial justice in its own ranks.

Her abilities have led her to be chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons and to the Queen.

One of her greatest honours is being invited by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to lead the prayers at their wedding.

However, she says she wants to "stop being the first" and for diversity within the Church of England to become the norm.

"I look forward to stop being the first and so there becomes a critical mass that we can say: 'Yes this is the Church of England'", she says.

Modernising this ancient institution she says is what the next stage of her journey will be all about.