THE next Area Bishop of Willesden in the diocese of London is to be Canon Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, currently Black and Minority-Ethnic (BAME) Mission and Ministry Enabler in the diocese of Leicester, it was announced on Tuesday.
Ordained in 2008, Canon Nsenga-Ngoy served his curacy at All Saints’, Staplehurst, in the diocese of Canterbury, before being appointed Vicar of St Aidan’s, Gravesend, in the diocese of Rochester. He took up his present appointment in 2017. It has included leadership of the diocese’s racial-equity strategy and a five-year project to increase participation and leadership in church life by BAME worshippers (News, 9 August 2019).
The Willesden Area covers the boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow, and Hillingdon. Tuesday’s announcement was made at Twyford C of E High School, where some of the students helped in the selection process.
Canon Nsenga-Ngoy said that he was “eager to experience the wealth of diversity in heritage and culture that make up the communities of west London. I look forward to strengthening existing bonds across churches and the wider community, as we tackle together some of the big issues facing us all. As the next Bishop of Willesden, my hope is to share the love of Jesus with confidence, compassion, and imagination.”
He praised the “gifts of curiosity, attentiveness, and generosity” in the diocese of Leicester, which had moved “from intentionality to action” and seen a 20-per-cent increase in the number of people of global-majority heritage exploring a calling to ordination.
Canon Nsenga-Ngoy is a member of the new Anti-Racism Taskforce, which earlier this year spoke of “decades of inaction” on racial justice in the Church (News, 23 April). After the killing of George Floyd last year, he wrote a poem, “What do you see?”, urging those watching images from Minneapolis to see “the fire that has been burning for over 400 years, consuming generations of black lives”, and “denounce and confont the debilitating forces of white supremancy”.
Born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, he studied theology at the Faculté Universitaire de Théologie Protestante, Brussels, and worked as a researcher for the African Development Information Service before training for ministry at Cranmer Hall, Durham. His writing has included a reflection for the Church Mission Society on Afrofuturism, in which he noted that “people of African descent have tended not to be incorporated in many of the storylines about the future, including those stories told through western-centric missional narratives. . . . Afrofuturism reminds us that black stories matter, because they are as much my stories as they are the stories of white bodies.”
He is married to Mirjam, who is Discipleship Officer of Leicester Cathedral, where he is an honorary canon, and they have three young children. Canon Nsenga-Ngoy will be consecrated as bishop in late January 2022, succeeding the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent, who served as Bishop of Willesden for 20 years.