*** DEBUG END ***

Clergy of African descent in England

23 October 2015


From Professor David Killingray

Sir, — Thank you for the article on the Revd Arthur Harley, the black “pioneering priest” (Features, 2 October). Harley is an interesting man, but certainly not the first black clergyman to serve in an English parish.

The first known man of African origin or descent to be a curate or incumbent was Bryan Mackay, Vicar of Coates, 1799-1847. Two sons and one grandson of Nathaniel Wells, a wealthy black landowner and JP in Chepstow, entered the Church’s ministry; they were followed in the 19th century by Alexander Crummell (briefly a curate in Ipswich), Edward Cragg Haynes, Robert Gordon, and Henry Armstrong Smyth.

In the period 1900-50, Henry Mason Joseph (of the SPG), E. A. Ejesa-Osora, and Lawrence Chase Walcott, all long-resident in Britain or black British, served as curates, while several clergy from West Africa and the West Indies (Henry Tekyi-Mensah, Ernest de Coteau, and George Llewellyn Palmer) spent time in English parishes.

I would be most grateful if your readers could let me know of other names and parishes where clergy of African origin and descent served.

72 Bradbourne Road
Sevenoaks TN13 3QA

Letters to the editor

Letters for publication should be sent to letters@churchtimes.co.uk.

Letters should be exclusive to the Church Times, and include a full postal address. Your name and address will appear alongside your letter.

The Church Times Podcast

Interviews and news analysis from the Church Times team. Listen to this week’s episode online

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)