Indian priest from dalit 'untouchable' community named London's newest Anglican bishop

(Photo: Diocese of London)Rev. Anderson Jeremiah (l) and the Bishop of London, Bishop Sarah.

The new Anglican Bishop of Edmonton near London, is an Indian academic who is a descendant from the lowest caste in Hinduism, the Dalits, the diocese of London has announced.

Dr. Anderson Jeremiah has his origins in south India, and missionaries to the Dalit community converted his family to Christianity.

According to the diocese of London, Anderson grew up in Tamil Nadu, the southernmost state in India, as a Dalit Christian.

He is the first Dalit, and the first clergyperson ordained in the Church of Southern India (CSI), to be appointed Bishop in the Church of England.

He has lived across five Anglican provinces in different parts of the world and served across rural to urban contexts and amongst deprived and affluent communities

Jeremiah is currently Associate Dean at Lancaster University, where his is a senior lecturer in the Department of Politics, Philosophy and Religion.

He serves the Diocese of Blackburn, in northern England as advisor to the local bishop on issues of black, Asian and minority ethnic affairs, and has served on the church's anti-racism taskforce.

Ordained into the Anglican Communion while living in India, Jeremiah also serves as associate priest at St. Paul's Scotforth where his wife Rebecca is the vicar.

Dalits are designated into the lowest caste of Hindu society by birth.


They are subject to extreme racism, excluded from the official caste system, and are eligible only for sanitation jobs such as scavenging rubbish, cleaning drains, collecting waste and sweeping roads, according to Premier Christian News.

The bishop designate grew up in south India as a Dalit Christian, and he describes having experienced "overt and covert racism, at every sphere of social and religious life."

His experiences gave him a passion for working towards justice and peace as "central to Christian Discipleship.

Anderson will formally take up his post in the early part of 2024 and will join the College of Bishops in the Diocese of London.

He succeeds the Rev. Rob Wickham as Bishop of Edmonton, who stepped down in August to become chief executive of the Church Urban Fund.

"I am particularly excited to take responsibility for racial justice as a portfolio amongst the bishops in London," Anderson commented.

"My personal experiences of exclusion and discrimination have formed my life, research, and ministry, and inspires me to embody the expansive hospitality of God."

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