Recognising King’s alumni and staff in World Interfaith Harmony Week

King’s was founded in the tradition of the Church of England, but today it has a worldwide reputation for its diversity in religious teaching and studies – and welcomes those of all faiths.

Indeed, many King’s religious studies students go on to be pioneers and leaders in their field.

Here we take a look at the King’s alumni and staff who have made an impact in their respective religions.

Celebrating King’s religious leaders and pioneers

The Reverend Richard Coles (Theology, 1994) has been a parish priest since his ordination in 2005, but his first career was in pop – as a member of the 1980s group The Communards.  Now Richard reaches a new audience through his broadcast work including BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live.

Bishop Richard Harries was Dean of King's between 1981 and 1987 and was appointed a Fellow of the College in 1983. He went on to be Bishop of Oxford (1987-2006). In 2006, he was made a life peer and now sits in the UK House of Lords as a crossbench member – an independent, not aligned to any particular political party. He is known as Baron Harries of Pentregarth. He contributes and comments on the BBC, particularly on Radio 4’s Today programme and the reflective Thought for the Day opinion piece.

Rabbi Walter Homolka gained his PhD at King’s in 1994. He now teaches at the University of Potsdam’s School of Jewish Theology and its Abraham Geiger College, one of only a small number of rabbinical seminaries in Germany. In 2006, Homolka ordained the first three rabbis in Germany since the Second World War.  Homolka is also active in Jewish-Christian dialogue.

Romana Kazmi is King's first woman Muslim chaplain. She is a national and international spiritual preacher and has a particular interest in healthcare ethics. She has a BSc in Psychology and is a qualified counsellor. She divides her time between King’s and Great Ormond Street Hospital, where she works as a paediatric chaplain. She has also been involved in aid work for refugees in Calais and Iraq.

Bishop Sarah Mullaly DBE, Bishop of Crediton:

The Right Reverend Dame Sarah Mullaly (Nursing, 1984), Bishop of Crediton, was the fourth woman in the UK to be be consecrated as bishop (July 2015). She was appointed Bishop of Crediton in September 2015. She trained at St Thomas’ and was Director of Patient Experience and Chief Nursing Officer for England from 1999 to 2004. She has been a lay member of King’s governing College Council since 2016.

And of course King’s alumnus Archbishop Desmond Tutu (MA Theology, 1966) Anglican bishop, social rights activist and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (1984) became known worldwide through his social rights activism against South African apartheid in the 1980s. Archbishop Tutu was the first black archbishop of Cape Town and bishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa).

But King’s standing in the world of theology doesn’t stop there. Did you know King’s has launched a ground-breaking project exploring how biblical stories have been depicted in art over the centuries?