Northern Global-Majority Heritage & UK Minority Ethnic clergy and ordinands gather at Bishopthorpe


The Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell today welcomed clergy, ordinands and church leaders of global-majority heritage or UK minority-ethnic (GMH/UKME) from the Northern Province of the Church of England to Bishopthorpe Palace for a day of celebration, conversation, worship and networking. The event was organised and delivered by the Rt Revd Smitha Prasadam, Bishop of Huddersfield, and the Rt Revd Arun Arora, Bishop of Kirkstall.

During the day, Archbishop Stephen gave an address on ‘The Theology of Diversity’ and said: “Gathered here, we can look around and discover that we belong to one another. We are one humanity. We can also receive the help, guidance and friendship we need. Our meeting here is part of our ongoing commitment to celebrate the calling that God has put on each of our lives, to listen and learn from our experiences and together begin to shape the Church I believe God wants us to be. Thank you for all you do to bring the life of the church and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ in the communities where you live and serve”

The Bishop of Liverpool, Rt Revd Dr John Perumbalath preached at the lunchtime Eucharist held in the Chapel. As part of the day,  The Revd Guy Hewitt Church of England’s Racial Justice Unit contributed on the theme of ‘The Urgency of Now’ alongside lived examples and best-practice methods shared by The Revd Steve Muneza, Director of Contextual Learning at Cranmer Hall, and The Revd Sonia Barron of the Church of England Racial Justice Commission.  They were joined by the Venerable Javaid Iqbal, Archdeacon of Doncaster and the Venerable Karen Best, Archdeacon of Manchester.  The acclaimed writer and rapper from West Yorkshire, Testament, shared a video presentation entitled ‘Testament to Truth’ which enabled group discussions.

Bishop Smitha said: “Jesus calls us to abundant living and that means joy in the Gospel. It was wonderful to be with so many ordinands and church leaders from across the Northern Province. The rich conversations and the opportunity to meet gives us great hope for the future as we work for God’s Kingdom.”

This event is held in response to the ‘From Lament to Action’ report produced in 2021 by the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce.  ‘From Lament to Action’ proposes a suite of changes to begin bringing about a change of culture in the life of the Church of England. It sets out 47 specific actions for different arms of the Church of England to implement across five priority areas. One of those actions requested the Archbishops of York and Canterbury to host annual events for UKME/GMH clergy and ordinands across the provinces for the purposes of support, networking and discussion.

Bishop Arun said: “We are here to serve the people of England and bring the Good News of Jesus Christ to the nation. Our challenge is to become a church which better reflects those we serve in our call to be communities of justice for all people. Today’s gathering enables us to recommit to serving Christ in our communities with a joyful hope rooted in our love of the Gospel and one another.”

View more photos from the day here.

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