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Black Lives Matter and monuments

by Michael Ford last modified 19 Jun, 2020 10:08 PM

The Church of England’s Director of Cathedrals and Church Buildings has spoken to the Church Times about the issues around monuments raised by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Becky Clark said:

“The events of the past weeks in response to the tragic death of George Floyd have brought into focus the question of monuments to individuals who have participated in systemic and targeted discrimination or exploitation.

“It is not possible to provide a single position which could apply to all circumstances and which would satisfy all legitimate viewpoints, however we acknowledge the real and justified anger of those who believe monuments in churches and elsewhere should be reviewed.

“We believe that dialogue within communities is the key to responding well to this and the local and national church should play a leading role by helping to facilitate the conversation. This cannot be dealt with purely as a discussion around historical monuments, and must encompass how we, as a broad and diverse society, value and represent people of all ethnicities and backgrounds.

“We acknowledge that dialogue alone is not sufficient, and must have real outcomes. These may include the alteration or removal of monuments. However this must be done safely and legally, and we do not condone illegal acts.

“Dialogue has to be open and honest. Churches and cathedrals are considering how they can address the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter movement and which demonstrations and direct action have brought into such sharp relief."

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