Church’s commitment to racial justice follows ‘lead of Christ’

General Synod has backed overwhelmingly the Church’s commitment to racial justice in its its latest meeting, as members heard that more needs to be done to include Global Majority Heritage people in the Church of England.

Introducing the debate, the Bishop of Dover, Rose Hudson-Wilkin said: “Those who are threatened by the authenticity of this movement want to scare us into thinking that being woke is a sin created by people on the left. But as the people of God, we should never be afraid or embarrassed of being called an advent people, always in the business of preparing and staying alert.

“We must remain awake to the reality that the Church’s commitment to racial justice is not the Church attempting to follow the world’s direction of travel regarding inclusion, equality and diversity, but instead it is a given. It comes from a deep desire to follow the lead of Christ.”

She added: “The racial justice mandate flows not from identity politics, but from our primary identity in Christ. The gospel calls us to prophetically address head-on the evils in our society, indeed in our world, which leave some parts of humanity dehumanised.”

Synod backed a call for more resources for racial justice. 

Bishop Stephen, who attended synod, said working for racial justice is key to the justice strand of our new diocesan vision, Making Jesus Known. He welcomed Bishop Rose’s speech, saying; “The Bible passage which underpins our new vision is Luke 4, which is often known as the Nazareth Manifesto. At the heart of it is Jesus’ call to work for justice for everyone – this isn’t something we can outsource as Christians, but something we need to each account for in our faith and work.”

The Diocese of Salisbury supports a Chaplain to the Gypsy, Roma and Traveller Community, Canon Jonathan Herbert. There are many members of the GRT community in the diocese. Last year Jonathan and Bishop Karen attended the anniversary of the Roma Holocaust at Kingston Mauward college near Dorchester, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, worshipped with members of the community at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Rossmore, Poole.

The diocese is implementing the recommendations contained in the From Lament to Action report.

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