In a significant step toward giving women clergy greater prominence, John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons in England, has selected Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a Jamaica-born priest, to be the next chaplain to the Commons.
She would be the first woman and first black cleric to be appointed to the centuries-old role, which is particularly prestigious as it currently also involves being installed as subdean of Westminster Abbey.
However, the Telegraph (British) website reports today (June 26, 2010) that Mr. Bercow's historic appointment is threatened by the Very Rev. John Hall, the Dean of Westminster Abbey, who is strongly opposed to such a move.
The Dean has refused to accept her as his deputy, and has insisted that the role is now broken up so that he can appoint a different candidate -- believed to be a male cleric.