Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy announced as the next Bishop of Willesden

The Revd Canon Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, currently Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) Mission and Ministry Enabler in the Diocese of Leicester, has today been announced as the Diocese of London’s next Bishop of Willesden, covering the boroughs of Brent, Ealing, Harrow and Hillingdon.

The official announcement from Downing Street came while Canon Lusa visited Twyford School, a leading Church of England School in Acton, students from which played a role in deciding his appointment. The Sixth Form students, who judged sermons from shortlisted candidates, are this morning welcoming Lusa and the Bishop of London, Sarah Mullally.

As part of today’s introduction to the Willesden area, Canon Lusa will meet clergy and interfaith leaders from the local community.

He will be consecrated as Suffragan Bishop in late January 2022, and will join the College of Bishops in the Diocese of London. He succeeds the Rt Revd Pete Broadbent as Bishop of Willesden, who served as Bishop for 20 years.

Lusa was ordained in 2008 and served as an Assistant Curate in the Diocese of Canterbury, before becoming Vicar of St Aidan, Gravesend in 2012. In 2017 he was appointed BAME Mission and Ministry Enabler in the Diocese of Leicester. Here he has overseen an increase in representation and participation of those from UK Minority Ethnic (UKME) backgrounds in the life and structures of the diocese. Last year he was appointed to the Church of England’s Anti-Racism Taskforce.

Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Revd Martyn Snow, who established the work Lusa has led through the nationally funded Intercultural Worshipping Communities project, confirmed that someone else will be sought to continue and build on the excellent work Lusa has done.

Bishop Martyn also said: “Lusa has been an enormous gift to the Diocese of Leicester, and we give thanks to God for his ministry among us. He has brought wisdom, energy, courage, and patience to his role as BAME Mission and Ministry Enabler, and it is fair to say that he has transformed the way that we work in the diocese. We will miss him greatly as he moves on but we know that he will be a great blessing to the Diocese of London and the wider church.”

Canon Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy said: “It is a real privilege to be called to join the work that God is doing in Willesden. I am eager to experience the wealth of diversity in heritage and culture that make up the communities of West London. I look forward to strengthen 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.

“It has been a pleasure to meet the school children responsible, in-part, for my appointment. I hope that I can deliver on their faith in me. I will, of course, carry with me precious memories of life and ministry in the Diocese of Leicester, especially the gifts of curiosity, attentiveness, and generosity.

“It has been good to see our work in the Diocese of Leicester move from intentionality to action. We are starting to see the fruit of this commitment with the proportion of people coming forward to explore ordination training and lay ministry increasing. The numbers of people of global majority heritage exploring a calling to ordination has increased by 20% so that now one in five of those coming forward.

“There is also greater confidence within our Intercultural Worshiping Communities and greater participation in mission and ministry by those of global majority heritage. Interculturality has become one of the distinctive priorities shaping the Diocese of Leicester,” said Lusa, who ‘took the knee’ alongside Bishop Martyn to mark the death of George Floyd and highlight racial injustice and has led work on a Racial Equity Strategy for the Diocese of Leicester.

The Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, said: “It is a joy to join with Lusa and his family today as this announcement is made. I know we will all learn and benefit from Lusa’s leadership and wisdom as we welcome him into our Diocese. It is fitting that we have heard the news today at one of our own church schools, Twyford Church of England High School, where some of the students helped in the selection process for the new Bishop. It is for them, and for every Londoner, that we spread the Good News, as part of our 2030 Vision.”

Lusa’s wife, Mirjam Ngoy-Verhage, will be continuing in her current role as Discipleship officer for Leicester Cathedral for the timebeing.

Lusa and Mirjam have also been part of the Companions team for the Community of the Tree of Life in Leicester. They will continue supporting the community in various ways.

First published on: 23rd November 2021
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