Racial justice and inclusion

From Lament to Action graphic

News and events

Revd Cannon Sharon Prentis, Deputy Director of The Racial Justice Unit, joined Synod. Speaking about the work of the group she asked those gathered to consider, “What does it mean to be a diverse church made up of diverse people?" And encouraged that together, “We can become the church that God intended us to be.”

You can see more from Sharon in the video below. 

Following Sharon’s talk, Mike Haslam Chaplaincy Development Adviser / Acting Mission Development Team Leader, gave Synod an update on the racial justice and equality strategy in Bath and Wells. Synod members were invited to discuss the next steps for their churches, schools and chaplaincies and for the diocese.

Join the UKME/Global Majority Heritage network

The Church of England’s Racial Justice team is seeking to mobilise all Global Majority Heritage (GMH)/ UK Minoritised Ethnic (UKME) clergy, ordinands and lay ministers and leaders to join an ethnocultural communications network.

Find out more and register on the Church of England website. You can also download and share the registration poster.

Healing, support and justice

In 2023, the Church of England Church Commissioners announced a commitment to £100 million of funding, delivered over nine years, to a programme of investment, research and engagement to address some of the past wrongs of the church in relation to transatlantic chattel slavery which are still impacting communities today.

Visit the Fund for Healing, Support and Justice to find out more, or download our one-sheet explainer below.

Read more inclusion and diversity news

From Lament to Action

In April 2021, the Anti Racism Taskforce on racism in the Church of England published the From Lament to Action report.

Bishop Ruth joined with Archbishops of the Church of England in pledging to be the generation to halt the cycle of inaction in the church on racism.

The report was commissioned in order to understand what progress has been made towards tackling racism. It is clear from its finding that despite many promises in previous years, little has been done.

Bishop Ruth said: “We acknowledge that we have failed. Despite warm words for many years, there has been too little action and too often there have been examples of our brothers and sister being marginalised, abused and left voiceless. I welcome the recommendations in this report.

“I am working closely with my UKME colleagues in the diocese to learn from them how we must act to free the voices of those who have been overlooked and ignored, and listen and learn from their experiences and expertise.

Rev Narinder Tegally is Lead Chaplain of the Spiritual Care Centre at the Royal United Bath NHS Foundation Trust, the Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands for the diocese and also sits on the national minority ethnic vocations advisory group, which is working to empower minority ethnic communities to think about their vocation.

She said: “Firstly, before we can encourage vocations we need to welcome and accept and love every human being. I have been to many churches where I have just been ignored. And I have been on baptism visits where people see my colour first, not my collar.”

She experienced racism growing up in the UK and said she had been sidelined for promotion both in the church and in nursing. Bath and Wells was one of the few dioceses where she had felt “affirmed” she said.

“My faith journey, my journey as a human being, has been one of pain and sorrow but also one of hope – hope that for my grandchildren things may be different. We all need to take responsibility for change.”

Downloads

Healing, support and justice explainer - graphic version

Healing, support and justice explainer - text version

Who to contact

If you wish to be part of the conversation, please contact Kate Scott, Bishops’ Chaplain.

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