The Revd Dr Sharon Prentis is to become an honorary Canon Theologian at Lichfield Cathedral, it has been announced today.
Canon theologians help bishops, cathedrals and the wider public reflect on matters of the day through a theological lens. Sharon’s will support the diocese to focus on “full participation and justice,” said the Bishop of Lichfield, the Rt Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave.
It is an additional role to her work as the Intercultural Mission Enabler and Dean of Black & Minority Ethnic Affairs for the Church of England, Birmingham, which she will continue. She will be installed as Canon Theologian at the same time as five people – the Revds Ron Farrell, Pat Hawkins, David Primrose, Adrian Stone and Jan Waterfield - are appointed as prebendaries at the cathedral on 22 November in recognition of their distinguished ministries within the Diocese of Lichfield.
Sharon said: “I am delighted to be appointed to this role, and look forward to working with others to develop an understanding of how the Church can flourish as an intercultural, intergenerational and inclusive community in Christ that embraces everyone.”
Sharon has been a theological educator specialising in contextual theologies, worked in church mission, was the National Deputy Director for Research & Development at The Salvation Army, and helped to set up a health social enterprise. She edited the 2019 book ‘Every Tribe‘ to highlight the global stories of saints and holy people and inspire the Church to become what it is meant to be: the diverse people of God, serving the diverse needs of a diverse world. She is interested in exploring the relationship between faith, community well-being and promoting inclusion. Sharon is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and member of the Archbishops’ Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) and the Church of England’s Faith & Order Commission. She is married to Calvert, also a Church of England priest, and they have a daughter.
Bishop Michael said: “At a time when racial unrest and injustice is firmly in the spotlight, I am convinced now more than ever that we need to emphasise the theological foundations of our commitment to full participation and justice. I believe that without this anything we do will be superficial. I am delighted, to appoint a Canon Theologian to Lichfield Cathedral who could help us focus on this dimension. The post will include occasional preaching and speaking at educational events. Most important, though, will be the sense that we have the theologian’s support, prayers and wisdom in addressing the challenges we face.”
The Dean of Lichfield Cathedral, the Very Revd Adrian Dorber, said: “From the cathedral’s perspective we welcome Sharon’s appointment wholeheartedly. It extends and deepens the cathedral’s role as a learning resource and gives us the benefit of another source of wisdom and scholarship.”
More information on the five new prebendaries will be published ahead of the service on the afternoon of 22 November, the Feast of Christ the King.