Church of England priest Guy Hewitt, a former Barbados High Commissioner to the UK, will take up the post in November, heading the Church of England’s Racial Justice Unit.
The Unit has been set up following the recommendations of the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce report From Lament to Action, published in April last year.
Located within the Archbishops’ Council and reporting to the Secretary General, Revd Hewitt will work alongside the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice to ensure the taskforce recommendations and the work of the Commission are implemented.
London-born, of Barbadian and Indian parents, Revd Hewitt has a background in social policy and development, working internationally on issues of marginalisation, economic enfranchisement, racial justice, youth empowerment, and gender equality.
He is currently an Honorary Senior Research Fellow with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and an Advisory Board member of the Windrush Scandal Research Project based there.
Revd Hewitt was priested in Barbados in 2005, having trained for ordained ministry with the Diocese of Southwark.
He most recently served as priest-in-charge at St James in the Hill Church in Hollywood, Florida. He is currently Associate Vicar at All Saints Church in Fulham, southwest London.
“I am humbled by the confidence of those who have chosen me to serve as the inaugural director and look forward to what I plan to be a participatory and inclusive process of restoration," he said.
“The Commission on Racial Justice is an important step towards the Church becoming truly one in Christ Jesus.
“The indelible link between our faith and public life is reinforced at Confirmation with our vow to defend the weak, and to seek peace and justice.”
William Nye, Secretary General of the Archbishops’ Council, said: “I am delighted that we have been able to appoint the Revd Guy Hewitt to be the first Racial Justice Director for the Church of England.
“This is a vital post, helping the Church address the challenges of racial justice, and helping the Church speak into this agenda nationally.
“Guy brings a wide experience of leadership from the public and third sectors in England and in Barbados.
“He will build a unit to support both the Archbishops’ Racial Justice Commission and the Committee on Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) in addressing this important issue.”
Lord Boateng, who heads the Archbishops’ Commission on Racial Justice said: “The appointment by the Church of England of a long-awaited Racial Justice Director is to be warmly welcomed.
“The Revd Guy Hewitt brings a wealth of experience to the task at both Parish and International levels.
“The Unit he will lead must now be adequately staffed and resourced to deliver on the change promised. The Commission greatly looks forward to working with the Rev Hewitt going forward.”
The Very Revd Rogers Govender, CMEAC Chair, said: “The Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) welcomes the appointment of Guy Hewitt to this important role.
“We look forward to working with him and the RJC as we seek racial justice and the full inclusion of UKME brothers and sisters in the Church of England.”