Black Lives Matter

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER

A Statement from The Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC)

To our Archbishops, House of Bishops and National Institutions of the Church of England

As members of CMEAC we express our outrage at the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, USA. We stand in solidarity with all those protesting the racist experiences, police brutality and injustices experienced by Blacks and Ethnic Minorities in the USA and pledge with them, to continue the fight for equality, inclusion and justice. We stand shoulder to shoulder with all who suffer discrimination and exclusion and offer our prayerful and prophetic support for the Black Lives Matter movement all over the world, including our own country.

 

This is an important defining moment in our present time, in the midst of the Coronavirus Pandemic when so many around the world have lost their lives and are suffering the effects of the virus. The brutal killing of George Floyd has added to the pain which is also historic for BAME people. We are aware of course, that many people of colour have lost their lives in our country through racist acts in the recent past. We need to address racism in our own institution too.

 

At the February Session of General Synod Archbishop Justin acknowledged that the Church of England is institutionally racist. As a Synod we pledged to do something about the exclusion of BAME laity and clergy at all levels of the institutional Church. As a national Church we have a responsibility to create a community of faith that celebrates equality, inclusion and justice for all people. This is a gospel imperative and we dare not pretend otherwise. We hope that the current challenge is seen as a defining moment when we can act to transform the life of the Church of England by actively working to end racist behaviour and actions in the institution.

 

Our very recent  National Advisor Dr Elizabeth Henry has done much to help the CofE address issues of racism, etc. in the life of our Church.  With her we want to add that paying lip service to inclusion through existing patronising attitudes and not actively pursuing an inclusion, will continue to be a source of anger and frustration amongst BAME people in Church and society. We would like to repeat that failure to act decisively and proactively will be disastrous for both Church and society in our common mission to this country and beyond. We have an opportunity presently to show leadership to our country and the world by providing an alternate vision through greater  inclusion of BAME Christians in the leadership structures of our Church. We pledge ourselves to work prayerfully with you and one another to constructively bring about change, inclusion and justice. It is now time to move from words of solidarity to transformative action which we are sure is the desire of our Archbishops.

 

To this end we would like to propose the following as a start:

 

  1. Recognise the under-representation of BAME laity and clergy in the CofE at all levels of the institution and engage in ongoing dialogue with CMEAC and other relevant bodies and individuals.
  2. To address the systemic discrimination that exists in the CofE in terms of senior leadership and commit to addressing this with immediate effect.
  3. To establish a Race Equality Panel to monitor inclusion and representation at all levels

 

Again, we reiterate our support for Black Lives Matter. We commit ourselves to our prophetic role in holding the Church to account through scrutiny and positive action. We commit ourselves to prayerful engagement with you and everyone to work for the values of God’s kingdom proclaimed by our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In God grace,

 

Chairperson and Members of the Committee

 

Useful Resources

Racial Justice Prayers

Church of England- Diversity in Dialogue

Health Check for Churches on Race and Ethnicity

Everyday People 

Watch a video of The Revd Canon Lameck Mutete, Vicar of Tattenhall, talk about Black lives, like any other lives, do matter

 

 

 

 

 


Page last updated: 16th June 2020 8:54 AM