UTech, Ja. Distinguished Public Lecture: Rev. Hudson-Wilkin Calls for Greater Involvement of the Church in Rebuilding Jamaica

…At UTech, Jamaica Distinguished Public Lecture


 The Rev. Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, delivering her presentation on “Rebuilding Trust: Integrating and Restoring our Nation,” at the UTech, Jamaica Distinguished Public Lecture held at the University’s Papine campus on Wednesday, November 1, 2017

“The Church will need to stop being so self-important and learn again what it means to be the servant of the people; to be trust bearers...to speak on behalf of the people while empowering them to speak for themselves in a way that can be heard…the church should be right there in the middle of the community appealing to the gunmen and helping them to change their lives – to turn their weapons of warfare into instruments that will do good.” 

These were among the assertions made by The Rev. Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Jamaican-born Speaker of the House of Commons and Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen of England during her wide-ranging presentation as guest lecturer at the University of Technology, Jamaica’s Distinguished Public Lecture held at its Papine campus on Wednesday, November 1.  The theme of the lecture was “Rebuilding Trust: Integrating and Restoring our Nation.”

While calling on the church to recognise the important role they play in nation building, Rev. Hudson-Wilkin emphasized that Jamaica’s problems cannot be solved by any one individual or group.    “We must not be allowed to point any fingers at any one system or party,” she asserted, adding that “this is not a party matter and no one party is going to solve this problem.”

In lamenting  some of the problems faced by the country, such as the alarmingly high rates of murders and other violent crimes, breakdown of family life, indiscipline and decaying of moral values, the killing of young children and sometimes whole families, teenage pregnancy and the wave of sexual and physically abuse of children and young women, she emphasized that the solutions will demand the collective will of all citizens working together to transform Jamaica.

“Return to Servant Leadership”

“How should we respond?” she asked. “Build more gated communities? Military response?”  Noting that “those committing these crimes live amongst us,” the Chaplain stressed that rebuilding trust, integrating and restoring our nation will require all citizens to “step outside the busyness of our lives and start taking a real interest in having a community where we can live as one with all our neighbours.” 

Pointing to the enormous negative social and psychological impact of crime and violence on individuals and its impact on Jamaica’s economic growth and investment climate, Rev. Hudson-Wilkin called on men to get more involved in leading the right kinds of conversations with their counterparts to sustain family life and to stem the tide of physical and sexual abuse and harassment of women and girls.

“True Leadership is About Serving the People”

In the process of rebuilding trust and restoring our nation, the Chaplain also called on leaders to return to a posture of servant hood, whereby “leadership is not about being in a role so as to accumulate wealth for oneself and for one’s family,” but about “being servant of the people…ready at all times to serve the people who called them to that position.”  She called on citizens to reject participation in ill-gotten gains from drugs, scams and theft and to lobby politicians and the government to invest in education and in creating an environment that will allow businesses to flourish.

In welcoming The Rev. Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Jamaica said that “It is our hope that this lecture will serve to promote insights into practical ways in which we can work together as citizens to restore public trust and goodwill in our nation,” adding that “these are critical areas of national life and for a stable democracy, that Jamaica must address, if we hope to achieve the National Vision Plan for developed country status by the year 2030.”

Among those in attendance at the well-received lecture were Rev. Phyllis Smith Seymour, President, Moravian Church of Jamaica, Rev. Ronald Thwaites, MP, Opposition Spokesman on Education and Training, former Pro-Chancellor Mr. Vivian Crawford who introduced Rev. Hudson-Wilkin, other members of the local clergy, members of the University’s Council, members of faculty, staff and students.

Honorary Degree

The Rev. Hudson-Wilkin is among three outstanding Jamaicans who will be conferred with an honorary degree by UTech, Jamaica at its graduation ceremony on Saturday, November 4 at the National Arena.  Rev. Hudson-Wilkin who was appointed as a Chaplain to Her Majesty the Queen in 2007 and in 2010 became the first female to be appointed to the position of Chaplain to the Speaker of the House of Commons, will be honoured for her  signal international achievements in religion and leadership.

Prof. Stephen Vasciannie, President, UTech, Jamaica (right) shares a light moment with The Rev. Ken Wilkin (left), husband of Rev. Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Canon Calvin McIntyre, retired Anglican Priest and Rev. Prebendary Rose Hudson-Wilkin prior to the start of the UTech, Jamaica Distinguished Public lecture held at the Shared Facilities complex, UTech, Jamaica Papine campus on Wednesday, November 1, 2017.


Michelle Beckford (Mrs.)
Corporate Communications Manager
University of Technology, Jamaica
Telephone: 970-5299
Email: mbeckford@utech.edu.jm