We are pleased to announce Ven. Karen Lund, the Archdeacon of Manchester as the fifth member of our Q&A panel for the Manchester screening of ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation' on July 12 (a.k.a. the 'Northern Premiere'). Tickets are available here. The timing of this and the other July screenings coincides neatly with the release yesterday of the first of six reports from the Church of England’s Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice (“ACRJ”). The report can be read here.
After the successful premiere of the new MJR documentary ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation', there are now four regional screenings happening in July, each with a Q&A afterwards. These will be in Manchester on July 12, Birmingham on July 15, Bristol on July 22 and London on July 29. More details and links for tickets are here.
'After the Flood' will also be shown at the 2022 Church of England General Synod on July 11 and the 10-yearly Lambeth Conference of the Worldwide Anglican Communion taking place from July 26.
The Queen has praised the Windrush "pioneers" for their "profound contribution" to British life as a statue to them was unveiled on Windrush Day at Waterloo Station. The Government funded £1 statue, designed by Basil Watson, depicts a man, woman and child standing on top of suitcases and pays tribute to the thousands of people who arrived in the UK from Caribbean countries between 1948 and 1971.
However, there has been negative reaction to the statue. Activist Prof Gus John, in an open letter to Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove, declining an invitation to the unveiling described it as "a monument to unforgivable political illiteracy and an entrenched colonial mindset. The entire Windrush narrative distorts the history of Caribbean engagement with Britain and of Britain's relentless efforts to keep us out".
Windrush survivor and campaigner Glenda Caesar said: “I knew nothing about the unveiling and wasn’t asked to attend. I can understand that it represents the people who came in via that station in 1948 but this does nothing to help the people, like myself, who suffered under this scandal and are labelled as the Windrush generation."
Jacqueline McKenzie, partner and head of immigration at Leigh Day, a firm representing more than 300 people affected by the Windrush scandal, decided not to participate in the Waterloo statue unveiling “whilst justice is being denied to thousands of victims.”
Read more here and here.
As well as screenings in Manchester, Birmingham and Bristol, with more to be confirmed, MJR's documentary ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation' will be shown at the Church of England's General Synod in York on July 11. It will also be shown at the 2022 Lambeth Conference later in the summer.
The General Synod is the national assembly of the Church of England. It meets every two years. The Lambeth Conference is a gathering of bishops from across the worldwide Anglican Communion convened every ten years by The Archbishop of Canterbury for prayer and reflection, fellowship and dialogue on church and world affairs.
Research by the Church Commissioners into a Church of England investment fund has revealed that for over a century it invested large sums of money in a company responsible for transporting slaves. 'Queen Anne's Bounty' was formed in 1704 to help support poor clergy. In 1739 its accounts showed £204,000 (estimated to be worth £443m today) had been invested in the South Sea Company which had an exclusive contract to transport slaves from Africa to Spanish colonies in South America for more than 30 years from the 1710s. Church investments in the South Sea Company continued well into the 19th century and the fund today is worth £10.1bn.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has said he was "deeply sorry for the links". "This abominable trade took men, women and children created in God's image and stripped them of their dignity and freedom. The fact that some within the Church actively supported and profited from it is a source of shame. It is only by facing this painful reality that we can take steps towards genuine healing and reconciliation - the path that Jesus Christ calls us to walk."
Read more here and here. Read the Church Commissioners report here.
MJR's documentary ‘After the Flood: the church, slavery and reconciliation' reveals more of this history of complicity with colonial slavery on the part of the Church of England and other churches, and also talks about the reconciliation Justin Welby speaks of. Find out more here.
At their annual meeting Quakers have agreed they will make practical reparations for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism and economic exploitation. They took this decision after hearing powerful evidence about Lancaster Quakers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, who profited from the enslavement of people. They also heard about the personal experience of racism of some of their own members. Quakers summarised their thinking in a statement they call an epistle which will be shared with all Quaker bodies nationally and locally, so they can consider how to respond with practical and meaningful action. It states: "Britain Yearly Meeting resolves to build on our decision last year to be an anti-racist church, working with partners, including churches and faith groups, to look at ways to make meaningful reparations for our failings." Read more. Read the full epistle here.
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