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Friday, 12 February 2010

Selection and Training of Minority Ethnic Priests and Deacons in Europe

The Director of Ordinands and the Director of Training convened a consultation on Friday 12 February on mapping the minority ethnic presence in the diocese, noting trends and challenges. The consultation began to grapple with the reality of the growing minority ethnic dimension in Europe and particularly the implications for discernment, selection, training and deployment of minority ethnic clergy. In the Diocese in Europe there are presently 4 licensed clergy, as well as a handful of clergy with Permission to Officiate, and another handful of postulants for Holy Orders who come from minority ethnic backgrounds. (Note: "minority ethnic" means visible minority in a British context).

Participants in the consultation were the Venerable Jonathan Boardman (Archdeacon of Italy and Malta), the Revd Philip Mounstephen (the chaplain of St Michael’s Paris), Ms Sonia Barron (Archbishops’ Advisor for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns), the Revd Dr Ian McIntosh (Eastern Regional Ministry Course, where many of our ordinands train), the Revd Julian Francis (National Training Co-ordinator for Minority Ethnic Anglicans), the Revd Ben Enwuchola (Nigerian Chaplain in London), and the Revd Deacon Frances Hiller and myself from the Ministry Team.

The consultation identified many areas of challenge for further work in our diocese, including:
  •  Embracing more and more the reality of ethnic diversity which has been evolving over the past couple of decades
  • Taking into account the variety of situations that minority ethnic Anglicans in Europe find themselves, economically, in terms of residence status, family situations etc.
  • Making our congregations welcoming places for minority ethnic members
  • Incorporation of minority ethnic Anglicans to a greater degree in the councils and synods of the Church
  • Recruitment for the ministry of people whose second or third language is English, and sensitivity to the need to express the deep call or vocation in one’s mother tongue
  • Training clergy in cross-cultural skills
  • Discerning and setting free the natural leadership gifts among minority ethnic Anglicans in our congregations
  • Exploring partnerships with other dioceses for exchange and enrichment through cross-cultural training opportunities
It was a useful day, but just a beginning, recognising the scope for further reflection and avenues for possible action.


  1. Claudine Haenni Dale13 February 2010 at 06:35

    Was any thought given to the training of (ethnic) minority readers?

  2. Not directly during this particular consultation, but it is a question that is firmly in the sights of the ministry team. We have presently about 4 minority ethnic readers in training.