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Home News Black Lives Matter: Bishop Andrew's response on behalf of the Diocese of Salisbury

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Black Lives Matter: Bishop Andrew's response on behalf of the Diocese of Salisbury

by Michael Ford last modified 19 Jun, 2020 04:47 PM

Jesus said, “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded”. (Luke chapter 12, verse 48)

The death of George Floyd, in Minneapolis, USA last month has reached and touched multitudes: asking questions of us all, whatever our country or culture. While we may hold every life to be of unique value, our actions often suggest otherwise and highlight just how imbalanced can be our subtle ranking of human worth. Black Lives Matter protests at home and abroad have justly drawn attention to this, with potency and passion.

Because these provoke deeply-felt issues of belonging and identity, of fairness and long-suffering, it is vital that the church in every place hears and responds to the moral protest being raised anew. We do so in the light of Christ, who challenges us with responsibility, asking how we have used all that has been given. This is the question we must weigh in the Diocese of Salisbury – and to consider how our advantages (globally, nationally and culturally) can empower those whose voices might otherwise be silenced. Speaking personally, it is too easy for me to be passive: to mute the uncomfortable truth. Positive action is needed to confess and redress the balance.

The coronavirus outbreak has brought home a fresh awareness of those we celebrate, and how: there have been new heroes, new virtues we have clapped and cheered each Thursday. Yet we struggle to reckon with human complexity, past and present, and the mixed legacy handed down to us. For Christians, the past is no static deposit, but a narrative for retelling and remembering: conscious that we are on our way to a better place. The Anglican Church has a unique role in national heritage and cares for nearly half of all Grade One listed buildings, which brim with memorials and monuments. Our churches are not museums, however - more storehouses of local memory. What we say about this past (and what it says about us) is a living conversation that we must engage in, confidently, fairly and inclusively.

Our deep roots in English life offer stability and sustenance: help us to see that love of neighbour, country and world branch out from love of God, who loved the earth long before we did. In a polarising climate, when it is easier to tear down than to build, we are recalled to our duty to act justly and charitably towards all - and to seek first the coming kingdom: here as in heaven.

To view Bishop Andrew's video on Facebook, click here.

Black Lives Matter- Bishop Andrew responds on Facebook

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