Directory: Churches and People

Lincolnshire curate helps call for minority ethnic vocations in Church of England

24 April 2015

More minority ethnic Anglicans are needed for ordained ministry in the Church of England, the Archbishop of York says today.

In a foreword to a new booklet on minority ethnic vocations, Dr John Sentamu said there has never been a better time for Christians from minority ethnic backgrounds to respond to God's call to ordained ministry in the Church of England.

"There is a greater need than ever for minority ethnic Anglicans to respond to God's call to ministry and servant leadership - we need people who are equipped for cross cultural ministry in our increasingly diverse society," Dr Sentamu said.

"We need more minority ethnic clergy as deacons, priests and bishops. We need ethnic diversity at all levels in the Church's ministry. This booklet shows how crucial it is for our ongoing vocations work in the Church of England. We need to see more minority ethnic Anglicans if we are to serve effectively and see churches grow, and to do that we must make and nurture disciples in diverse communities across England today."

Everyday People, God's gift to the Church of England, from the Vocations Strategy Group, a working group of the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns, and the Ministry Division of the Church of England, features the life stories of seven ordained clergy and one Anglican who is currently exploring her vocation. All are of minority ethnic heritage.

The booklet, being distributed to dioceses in the Church of England, includes a contribution by the Revd Franklin Lee, a third year curate from Hong Kong currently serving in the Parish of Spalding.

In the booklet Franklin talks of his journey to faith in Hong Kong by way of a Lutheran church, moving to Boston and studying at York. 

"Whilst I may be the only person in my church who comes from ethnic minority background, the congregation has been very kind to me since the first day I arrived in the parish," said Franklin. "I am very grateful that God has called me to this place to serve Him."

Dr Elizabeth Henry, the Church of England's national adviser on minority ethnic Anglican concerns, said there are "significant" numbers of minority ethnic Christians in Anglican churches but minority ethnic clergy make up less than 3% of serving clergy.

"Working to increase representation and inclusion of minority ethnic Anglicans at all levels in the Church is not about redressing an imbalance, it is essential to church growth," she said.

"We hope this booklet will provide insight and inspiration for a positive impact on the number of minority ethnic Anglicans coming forward for ordination."