Thinking Anglicans

Speaker's Chaplain – official announcement

Updated again Friday morning
Updated Thursday morning with Westminster Abbey press release

Here it is from the Parliament website: New Speaker’s Chaplain appointed.

The Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow is delighted to announce the appointment of Rev Rose Hudson-Wilkin as the new Speaker’s Chaplain.

Rev Hudson-Wilkin is currently Vicar of the United Benefice of Holy Trinity with St Philip, Dalston, and All Saints, Haggerston, in the London diocese.

She will combine this role with the position of Speaker’s Chaplain and as a Priest Vicar at Westminster Abbey. Her appointment will begin in September following the retirement of the Rev Robert Wright after 12 years in the role…

There is no press release yet on any new appointments at the Westminster Abbey website

Update Thursday morning

Westminster Abbey press release: The Reverend Andrew Tremlett appointed Canon of Westminster

Includes the following:

…The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: ‘We are delighted at the appointment of Andrew Tremlett as a Canon of Westminster and look forward to welcoming him and his family to the Abbey. The Dean & Chapter will appoint him Rector of St Margaret’s Church within the Abbey precincts. An announcement about the appointment of a new Sub Dean will be made in due course.’

Meanwhile The Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon John Bercow MP, has appointed the Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin as the new Speaker’s Chaplain.

Ms Hudson-Wilkin is currently Vicar of the United Benefice of Holy Trinity with St Philip, Dalston, and All Saints, Haggerston, in the London diocese. She will combine this role with the position of Speaker’s Chaplain. She is also an honorary Chaplain to HM The Queen. The post of Speaker’s Chaplain, which dates from 1660, has for most of its history been combined with another ministerial post away from Westminster. The Dean of Westminster will also appoint her as a Priest Vicar of the Abbey. Dr Hall said: ‘Rose Hudson-Wilkin will be very welcome as a member of the Abbey community and to worship in St Margaret’s Church and in the Abbey. Together the appointments of Andrew Tremlett and Rose Hudson-Wilkin will greatly enhance the Church’s ministry to the Palace of Westminster.’

The Chapel of St Mary Undercroft at the Palace of Westminster will remain under the jurisdiction of the Dean of Westminster as Ordinary.

Friday morning update

The Church Times reports, ‘No row’ over new Speaker’s Chaplain

…But, Dr Hall said, although the Abbey had advertised for someone to fill the combined position, his­torically this had not always been the case. “Technically, the appointment to the canonry of Westminster is by the Crown, while the appointment to Speaker’s Chaplain is the re­sponsibility of the Speaker, and that’s been the outcome on this occasion. There was no row between us, and relations between the Abbey and the Palace of Westminster and the Speaker continue to be constructive and productive.

“Mrs Hudson-Wilkin will be a Priest-Vicar at Westminster Abbey, and these two appointments will enhance the Church of England’s ministry in the Palace of West­minster.”

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Colin BaldyPantycelynDavid da Silva CornellBill DilworthAthirat Recent comment authors
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Gianni
Guest

Wonderful news! I am heartened!

Neil
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Neil

I am not heartened!

Graham Smith
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Graham Smith

As an aside, should Mr Speaker Bercow be prosecuted for saying he did not want to see a white, male, middle-class man appointed as Chaplain to the House of Commons, after he reportedly stepped in to prevent Canon Andrew Tremlett from being offered the post (imagine the outcry had Bercow said he didn’t want a black woman doing the job)?

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

This is, indeed, good news for the Church and the House of Commons. To have a spiritual guide who is both a woman and black is an indication to the Church and the World that there is no separation in Christ Jesus, but all are included in the ministry and work of the Church. Our Prayers are with you in the Church of England as you continue to discover the gifts of ALL people whom God calls to minister.

DG
Guest
DG

Well done Mr Speaker.

The next Speaker might decide to appoint a non Anglican, or even a non Christian chaplain. Or indeed the next Speaker might not want a chaplain at all. Quite apart from the person appointed, the principle behind this change is very bad.

Stevie
Guest
Stevie

I’ve got mixed feelings about this. The disagreement between the Abbey & the Speaker only serves to make the Church of England look out of touch and, to my mind, it is to the discredit of the Abbey that, even if they thought the other candidate better suited, it would have been more sensible to allow the Speaker to have his way. It puts a potentially harmful barrier between the Abbey and the House and makes the relationships between members of the Abbey community much more difficult. The Dean should have taken a hit for the team!

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

People are quick to hurl insults at the Speaker.

Yet no one has attempted to explain what the Dean of the Abbey meant when he wanted someone who would be better at the “ceremonial” aspect of the Abbey job.

What exactly was the nature of _his_ objection?

Was it her height? Her singing voice? Her lack of gray hair?

Her accent?

Or something else?

Fr John
Guest
Fr John

Graham you are quite right. It is all one sided nowadays. His statement is racist, and gender biased. He has little experience as Speaker, and too loose a cannon. The Speaker is a very bad appointment, caused by the nonsense of the Labour MP’s. Anything to cause upset.

Fr John (Scotland0

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

As an aside, should Mr Speaker Bercow be prosecuted for saying he did not want to see a white, male, middle-class man appointed as Chaplain to the House of Commons, after he reportedly stepped in

Posted by: Graham Smith on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 12:02am BST

NO! Next question (if any!)

In fact,did the Speaker actually say what you say he said ?

I must say we really need a lot more white, middle aged, middle class males from posh backgrounds, in the Church — don’t we ? !

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

The next Speaker might decide to appoint a non Anglican, or even a non Christian chaplain. Or indeed the next Speaker might not want a chaplain at all. Quite apart from the person appointed, the principle behind this change is very bad.

Posted by: DG on Wednesday, 30 June 2010 at 9:39am BST

What are you afraid of then ?

I should welcome from varying backgrounds in future, as listed by yourself.

Lister Tonge
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Lister Tonge

Ron

I find myself rarely disagreeing with anything you post here and I am not quite disagreeing now. But what you write would be great if this appointment didn’t also seem to be saying that all are included except white, middle-age males (‘all are equal but some are more equal than others’).

But there we are. As someone says on another thread, the person appointed deserves our prayers for this new ministry.

Gareth Hughes
Guest

The dual appointment by Commons and Abbey is clearly the source of the problem. Perhaps former Speakers have let the Dean have his (always ‘his’) way, seeing as it’s a clerical appointment. It is a wonder what lies behind the Dean’s comment about Canon Tremlett being better suited to the ‘ceremonial’ side of the job. There is the suggestion that he wouldn’t look too much ‘out of place’. But, perhaps ‘out of place’ is exactly what the Abbey needs. At least the Speaker was up front with his (not always a ‘his’) desire to appoint a chaplain who didn’t have… Read more »

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

‘all are included except white, middle-age males’

Patently untrue. WE dominate the C of E and the establishment generally. Fair’s fair.

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Dear Lister. I agree that it might be better not to express my delight at the appointment of Sr.Rose. I just felt that, in a climate of majority white male preferences in the Church of England, it really is time for the appointment of a minority constituent. (One thing I did object to was the inference that Rose might not be capable or suitable to conduct worship in the abbey).

JCF
Guest
JCF

“(imagine the outcry had Bercow said he didn’t want a black woman doing the job)?”

But he didn’t.

This idea the *beneficiaries* of racial and gender discrimination can be substituted, as a class, for the victims of same is a facile canard.

Athirat
Guest
Athirat

The dual appointment of the Commons Chaplain and the Abbey post of Sub-Dean is a relatively recent innovation, the suggestion in many papers, that the role of Chaplain has always been combined with the role of sub-dean is nonsense. I understand that only the previous two were also Sub-Dean.

Bill Dilworth
Guest

“His statement is racist, and gender biased.”

What twaddle.

David da Silva Cornell
Guest
David da Silva Cornell

The decision now to appoint Rose Hudson-Wilkin+ a “Priest Vicar of the Abbey” seems a wise one, whether rooted in a sincere appreciation of what she can bring to the Abbey or in a need for damage control.

Prayers for all involved.

Pantycelyn
Guest
Pantycelyn

It was good hearing her interview on the radio 4 ‘Sunday’ programme this morning– even if interviewer rather inane at times, her interlocutor was not !

Colin Baldy
Guest
Colin Baldy

The post of speaker’s chaplain was already held by a non-establishment figure in the form of Canon Robert Wright. Speaker Boothroyd specifically wanted someone who was a parish priest, not someone from the higher echelons of the church as her speaker. I find all this ridiculous talk about how this new appointment is a move of openess and freshness to be totally derogatory to the extremely important and selfless work which Canon Wright has put in over twelve hard and demanding years. Anyone who thinks Speaker Bercow isn’t just playing power games with the establishment should wake up and wake… Read more »