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Remembering George Floyd

by Michael Ford last modified 21 May, 2021 04:15 PM

An array of senior Church leaders from Britain and Ireland will call for justice at a Church service marking the first anniversary of the killing of George Floyd on 25th May 2021.

Remembering George Floyd

Original photo courtesy Lorie Shaull on Flickr

Titled 'Doing Justice: A Service of Reflection on the Anniversary of the murder of George Floyd', the service will host senior Church leaders and local Christians at the NTCG Brixton Community Church in south London. They will remember the tragic death of Mr Floyd, as well as challenge churches and communities in Britain and Ireland to stand up for justice, and against racism, ignorance, and hatred.

Flyer here.

Due to the existing Covid-19 restrictions, the socially-distanced service will be recorded on 18th May and broadcast at 7.00pm on 25th May via YouTube and other social media platforms.

BBC Radio 4 will subsequently broadcast the service at 8.10am on 30th May for its Sunday Worship programme.

The ecumenical service service features contributions from the Archbishop of York, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo from Kingsway International Christian Centre, Pastor Agu Irukwu of Jesus House, the Bishop of London Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of Dover Rose Hudson-Wilkin, the Revd Les Isaac from the Ascension Trust and Street Pastors Network, Lynn Green from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, Bishop Paul Hendricks of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark, and His Eminence Archbishop Angaelos of the Coptic Orthodox Church, among others.

The service was initiated by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), an ecumenical organisation that encourages Christian unity, and includes churches of all traditions and denominations.

One of the organisers, Richard Reddie, Director for Justice and Inclusion at CTBI said:

"Last year, George Floyd’s killing and the Black Lives Matters protests that followed, showed that many were saying “enough is enough” when it comes to racism, especially the form experienced by Black people on both sides of the Atlantic.

"This anniversary is a timely reminder that we need to continue the work started last year, if we are really committed to ending injustice in church and society."

The Ven Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon, one of the organisers and a participant in the service itself, said:

"There was a clear international dimension to the killing of George Floyd. We saw demonstrations right across the globe. We want our service to reflect that global outpouring for justice, so the service will be a truly inclusive gathering.

"We want to send a strong message that racism has no place in church or society."

The service will be complemented by the music of the awarding-winning IDMC Gospel Soul Choir, one of the leading Gospel choirs in Britain, along with poetry, prayers and a symbolic action that sees local schoolchildren laying candles at the foot of a cross to remember all those who have lost their lives to intolerance.

This activity will be followed by a minute’s silence to remember those lost, including George Floyd.

Revd Wale Hudson-Roberts, a Justice Enabler for the Baptist Union of Great Britain and another of the organisers added:

"Despite what some may suggest, inequality and racism sadly remain detrimental factors in our society. If the Church is to speak prophetically to society on these issues, it must first get its own house in order because we still have a lot of work to do ourselves to truly become the types of organisations that are committed to doing justice."

To view the service live on YouTube on 25th May, click here.

The list of churches and organisations participating include:

The Church of England
The Baptist Union Of Great Britain
The New Testament Church of God
The Redeemed Christian Church of God
The Evangelical Alliance
The United Reformed Church
The Methodist Church
The Church of God of Prophecy
Kingsway International Christian Centre
The Coptic Orthodox Church
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland
Churches Together in England
Church of Scotland
Cytûn – Churches Together in Wales
Irish Council of Churches
Diocese of Southwark
Archdiocese of Southwark

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