A Horley parish vicar has been given the task of helping more people from ethnic minority backgrounds into ordained ministry.
The Rev Calvert Prentis, who became rector of the Horley Anglican Team Ministry last year, was appointed the Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) vocation champion by the Bishop of Southwark.
He will continue his leadership of the Horley parish while working in his new role.
He said: “I am happy to fulfil this important role within the Diocese. While there has been a slight increase nationally of BAME people coming forward to explore vocation and be recommended to the ordained ministry, there is still a long way to go in terms of the whole church being able to truly reflect, identify and nurture vocations to the ordained ministry among people of BAME.
“My understanding of the role is to encourage the church to take seriously the vocation of BAME peoples.
“This is a twofold task: first, to encourage individuals to consider and explore vocation and secondly, to make sure that the Church structures and culture is not biased against people who may not fit the usual image of a priest in the Church of England.
“I look forward to working with all who aspire to see this happen.”
The Horley Team Ministry welcomed another member of the BAME community in October. Rev Naomi Ngururi is the parish’s team vicar.
She said: “As in any diverse and ethnic community, it’s important to involve everyone in ministry and leadership in the church. I think his role is going to be important in encouraging that process of diversity and inclusion of ethnic minorities.”
This is not the first time Rev Prentis has worked in this area of church life. From 2006 and 2011 he was chair of the National Committee for Minority Ethnic Concern (CMEAC) vocation working group.