The Bishop of Edmonton Robert ‘Rob’ Wickham is our new Board chair.
Bishop Rob, who has been actively involved with housing Justice for 18 months, took up his new role in March.
Homelessness issues have been a defining feature throughout his 20 year ministry, working with churches to provide night shelters, appreciating and witnessing at first hand the impact they can make.
Bishop Rob said: “I’m delighted to be the new Chair of Housing Justice, and I fully support our vision that recognises that widespread human flourishing is influenced by housing and our understanding of housing needs.
“Housing is one of the critical issues of the 21st Century, and it has been an issue for Christians for centuries. We are, in effect, standing on the shoulders of many visionary Christians who have shaped our housing landscape.”
Housing Justice CEO, Kathy Mohan said: “Housing Justice feels privileged to have Bishop Rob guiding our board.
“The leadership he has shown in the Diocese of London for many years, and his knowledge of urban regeneration and repurposing the uses of churches will be invaluable for the projects we are spearheading.”
Bishop of Edmonton since 2015, Rob Wickham has always served in the Diocese of London. He was a Curate in the Parish Church of Willesden, a Team Vicar in the Parish of Old St Pancras, with responsibility for St Mary’s Somers Town, and for nine years Rector of St John at Hackney, latterly becoming Area Dean of Hackney. While there he was renowned for repurposing church building use for the wider community.
There has been a 165 per cent increase in rough sleeping in England since 2010. At the same time faith based night shelters such as those supported and directly provided by Housing Justice have doubled in number. There are now 124 such projects across England and Wales offering a route out of homelessness. Housing Justice provides these projects with practical support, set up advice, grant funding and a Quality Mark scheme.
Bishop Rob said: “Housing Justice will continue to support church night shelters, continue to look at creative models of housing and continue to challenge and be a prophetic voice in issues of housing and homelessness.”
Bishop Rob succeeds The Rt Revd James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester, a trustee for 12 years.
Bishop Rob said: “It is a great honour to follow Bishop James. I’m indebted to his leadership, and I know he will continue to offer advice to us.”
Kathy Mohan said: “We express our thanks to Bishop James for his dedication. Under his guidance Housing Justice has built strength and reach in mobilising Christians to support the practical work we do to relieve homelessness. This is particularly visible through the growth in the number of night shelters and the standards to which they operate. We are in good shape for the challenges ahead.”