'Resolved to Serve' Exhibition, hosted by the University Church

Oxford, England

1 October 2023

The University Church of St Mary the Virgin in Oxford is proud to host the "Resolved to Serve" exhibition, a compelling display that brings to the forefront the stories and experiences of black clergy across the Thames Valley. The project is set to tour through Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, and Oxfordshire, with displays in esteemed churches such as Christ Church Cathedral and Dorchester Abbey and now at the University Church, throughout October to December 2023.

Curated by the Reverend Polly Falconer, UKME Development Enabler in the Diocese of Oxford, and the Right Reverend Dr Tim Wambunya, Vicar of St Paul's Church, Slough, this exhibition showcases exquisite photography by Emma Thompson. The visuals combined with the narratives aim to shed light on the integral role of black clergy in the church and the broader community.

Speaking about the exhibition, The Revd Polly Falconer said, "Black History Month provides an opportunity to acknowledge and focus on the significant contributions people of African and Caribbean descent have made in history. By celebrating the gifts of people today we can help create a diverse church and society where all can flourish." She further added, "The powerful and moving stories shared by clergy demonstrate the importance of highlighting the voices of black clergy in the Church."

The ultimate goal of "Resolved to Serve" is to emphasize the importance of a diverse church that is welcoming and inclusive to people from all backgrounds and ethnicities. Through this exhibition, visitors will be enlightened on the pivotal roles, challenges, and triumphs of black clergy in the Thames Valley, fostering an environment of understanding, appreciation, and unity.

The University Church of St Mary the Virgin invites all to experience this poignant exhibition and join in the journey towards creating a more inclusive church and society.