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Addressing Minority Ethnic Concerns

by Michael Ford last modified 06 Mar, 2021 02:00 AM

The Revd Rachma Abbott is to be our brand-new Bishop’s Adviser on Minority Ethnic Concerns.

This is the first time we have had such a post in this Diocese and Rachma’s appointment to the role has been warmly welcomed by Bishop Nicholas.

He said:

“I am very glad Rachma Abbot has agreed to take on this role. She will help us as a Diocese address issues that are pressing so we encourage one another in the ways of Jesus Christ to seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly.”

Rachma, who will hold this advisory post alongside side her role as Rector of the Benefice of Lyneham & Woodhill serving the churches and parishes of Bradenstoke, Broad Town, Clyffe Pypard, Hilmarton, Lyneham & Tockenham, said:

“I am excited to play my part in our response to these issues. I will seek to represent the needs and views of my BAME* and UKME** colleagues with courage and authenticity to these issues as they impact our mission and ministry here.

“I am passionate that we who are the Body of Christ need to seek and work for justice at home within the Church if we are to speak with integrity to those beyond the Church about the ethical demands of following Jesus.

“The pandemic, with its reminder of the health inequalities faced by UKME people, has brought home the need for acting now to acknowledge the diversity within our communities, even in our rural benefices and to ensure that at every level the church is a place where all people whatever their background can find a home and develop the gifts of their ministry.

“Over 15 years ago my godfather challenged me to see that as a Londoner of mixed heritage God might have a vocation for me to serve in a rural setting – and he was right!  

“This is a good time for the Diocese of Salisbury to recognise that alongside my friend and colleague the Dean of Women’s Ministry, BAME and UKME colleagues will also benefit from a similar enabling”.

As the Bishop’s Adviser on Minority Ethnic Concerns (BAMEC), Rachma will represent to the Bishop all aspects of the ministry of UKME people, consulting with UKME ministers in the diocese as and when necessary and represent their needs and views as a body to the Bishop, the Bishop’s Staff and elsewhere. They will be a champion for UKME ministers in our Diocese.

Among the main responsibilities being undertaken by Rachma in this role will be to monitor the experience of UKME ministers and to work for the fullest possible development of UKME people in ministry.

As adviser, she will bring to the Bishop’s attention any matters relevant to the ministry of UKME people. She will also assist in the development and maintenance of policies, practices and habits which help to minimise discrimination on grounds of ethnicity as well as liaise with others responsible for ministry, in particular the Director of Ministry and Ministry and the Diocesan Director of Ordinands, in their ongoing formation of UKME people in ministry and their encouragement of the vocations and development of UKME people.

*Black And Minority Ethnic
**UK Minority Ethnic

The proposed title of the post mirrors that of the Archbishop’s Adviser and the reference to UKME follows a footnote in a CCMEAC document that reads: ‘The term UKME is preferred to BME or BAME throughout this toolkit, reflecting the variance in UK and global ethnography’.  The Bishop was also conscious of the government guidance and of a blog post relating to terminology. 

The Church of England has announced that the report of its National Anti-Racism Task Force will be launched on 22nd April - Stephen Lawrence Day.

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