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Archbishop calls for more ethnic minority vicars

by Desmond Busteed

In a foreword to a new booklet on minority ethnic vocations entitled Everyday People, God's Gift to the Church of England, 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.

Minority ethnic clergy make up less than 3% of serving clergy in the Church, despite "significant" numbers of Christians in Anglican churches.

"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."

The booklet, being distributed to dioceses in the Church of England, includes a contribution by Revd Dr Sharon Prentis, curate at St Matthew's, Redhill, Surrey, and a mission support officer for Southwark Diocese.

The Yorkshire-born former lecturer at Leeds and Huddersfield Universities, who has also worked for the Salvation Army and Oasis Trust, was ordained as a priest last year. Her parents came to the UK from the Caribbean in the 1960s.

She said: "In order for the Church to fully engage with and reach out to the whole of society with the message of the Good News of the Gospel, it is important that there is representation from a diverse range of people from different backgrounds in ordained ministry within the Church of England."

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