Friday, 1 April 2011

Speaker's House and Rose Hudson-Wilkin

I was in the Speaker’s bedroom this afternoon:

There isn’t a sheet under the bedspread (maybe it’s with Sally). And it’s polyester (in case you thought it was satin).

Anyhow, the reason we were there was to hear Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the speaker’s chaplain, talk about her work. She’s the first woman - and the first black woman - to be appointed since the role was created (she’s the 79th person in post).

She talked about how she wanted to give young black people positive role models, just as she had wanted her children to see positive images of themselves when they were growing up. When her husband (a Geordie vicar) was offered a job as a priest in rural Oxfordshire some years ago, Rose personally told her husband’s boss that they weren’t able to move to rural Oxfordshire because it wasn’t a multi-ethnic area. Her husband’s boss turned around and said: “But there are lots of black people in the prisons.” I reckon that’s what Jackie Kay would call casual racism.

She also said that her work in Parliament had not stopped her being active in her church in Hackney and that when someone invites you into their home and lets you love them, then that’s a great privilege. I thought that was profound.


Anonymous said...

Did you try out the bed, or just take a picture of it?

Karen Burke said...

I lifted up the bedspread. That's as far as it went. ;)