A new portrait and video exhibition, Resolved to Serve, commissioned by the Diocese of Oxford, aims to celebrate black culture and its influence in the Church today.
The Black History Month exhibition features black clergy of African and Caribbean descent from across the diocese. They tell their inspiring stories of faith and resilience through their different experiences, challenges, and opportunities in faith, church, and ministry.
Beginning in Slough, Resolved to Serve will tour Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire displaying in churches, Christ Church Cathedral and Dorchester Abbey throughout October and November.
The exhibition was curated by The Reverend Polly Falconer, UKME Development Enabler in the Diocese of Oxford, and the Right Reverend Dr Tim Wambunya, Vicar of St Paul’s Church, Slough and includes photography by Emma Thompson.
The Revd Polly Falconer, UKME Development Enabler in the Diocese of Oxford, curated the exhibition and said:
“Black History Month provides an opportunity to acknowledge and focus on the significant contributions people of African and Caribbean descent have made in history. By celebrating the gifts of people today we can help create a diverse church and society where all can flourish.
“The powerful and moving stories shared by clergy demonstrate the importance of highlighting the voices of black clergy in the Church.”
The Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft, Bishop of Oxford, shared his support for the exhibition:
“This Black History Month exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and learn from black clergy in the diocese. Each clergy person brings unique value to their ministry in their communities and churches.
“Their stories and experiences challenge us to continue improving race equality in the Church and are an encouragement to continue our work to increase the representation of black and other ethnic minorities in all areas of mission and ministry in the diocese.”
Where can I see the exhibition?
- 1 – 14 Oct: St Paul’s Church, Slough
- 16 – 22 Oct: Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford
- 24 – 28 Oct: Church House Oxford, Kidlington
- 29 – 4 Oct: St Lawrence Church, Winslow
- 5 – 12 Nov: Rippon College, Cuddesdon
- 14 – 21 Nov: Dorchester Abbey
Entry to the Exhibition is free and admission to Christ Church Cathedral is subject to an entrance fee.
Video interviews are available on the Black History Month page of the Diocese of Oxford website.
Notes for editors
For media enquiries, please contact Madeleine Hayden in the press office: 07880 716 761. High-res portraits are available on request.
About the Diocese of Oxford
The Diocese of Oxford is the Church of England in the Thames Valley region of Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire. There are 808 churches in 626 parishes, the largest number of churches of any diocese in the Church of England. The diocese is also home to 285 schools and academies educating some 60,000 pupils.
About the UKME Development Enabler
The diocese appointed its first UKME Development Enabler in 2021 strengthening its resolve to encourage, support and promote UKME vocations, participation and representation at all levels across the Diocese.
About the UKME Clergy Chapter
A group of UKME clergy in the diocese meeting regularly for around two years to share experiences and support one another formally became the UKME Clergy Chapter in 2021. It offers pastoral support to ordained clergy and licensed lay ministers within the Diocese of Oxford. It provides a space for prayer and plays an important role in advocating for the UKME community on issues of diversity and inclusion.