Ex-bishop is top 10 Brit

Great Briton: Wilfred Wood

Great Briton: Wilfred Wood

First published in News by

The former bishop of Croydon has been named as the second greatest black Briton in a nationwide poll.

The Right Rev Wilfred Wood was voted second behind the Crimean War nurse Mary Seacole in the poll organised by website Every Generation and launched by Mayor of London Ken Livingstone last October as part of the black history month celebrations.

Bishop Wood, who was the Church of England's first black bishop, was recognised ahead of more prominent icons including ITN newsreader Trevor McDonald, jazz artist Courtney Pine, Ms Dynamite and boxer Frank Bruno.

He served as the bishop of Croydon for 17 years before retiring in September 2002.

During his ministry Bishop Wood, who was born in Barbados, was renowned as a champion for racial justice and was recognised for his commitment to raising race awareness within the church.

He was made a Freeman of Croydon, before he retired to Barbados, in honour of his work for the borough.

The Rt Rev Tom Butler, the Bishop of Southwark, said: "I am delighted that Bishop Wilfred Wood has received such prestigious recognition in this list of leading black Britons.

"His 17 years as Bishop of Croydon, and his consecration as the first ever black bishop in the Church of England marked a long and distinguished career, during which he became a leading champion of minority ethnic groups in the church and the wider community."

Top 10 black Britons

1 Mary Seacole
2 Wilfred Wood / OA Lyseight
3 Mary Prince
4 Olaudah Equiano
5 Queen Phillipa
6 Courtney Pine
7 Sir Bill Morris/Sir Trevor McDonald
8 Shirley Bassey
9 Bernie Grant
10 Professor Stuart Hall

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