Racial Discrimination

The hon. Member for South West Bedfordshire, representing the Church Commissioners, was asked – in the House of Commons on 10th September 2020.

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Photo of Janet Daby Janet Daby Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Faiths, Women and Equalities)

If he will publish an update on the Archbishop of Canterbury’s steps to tackle racial discrimination in the Church of England.

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

In July, both archbishops launched an anti-racism taskforce to assess progress in implementing past recommendations to the Church in this area. The report will be concluded before the end of the year, and then an archbishops’ commission will be formed to produce recommendations for action on combating racism.

Photo of Janet Daby Janet Daby Shadow Minister (Equalities Office) (Faiths, Women and Equalities)

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s proactive approach over the summer to address the Church’s issue with racial inequality was welcome. He also commented that the Church was still deeply institutionally racist. Does the hon. Member believe, as I do, that there is a need to address in more depth the history of the Church’s involvement in the slave trade and beyond?

Photo of Andrew Selous Andrew Selous The Second Church Estates Commissioner

Although the Church has issued a formal apology for slavery and both archbishops undertook a public act of repentance, the Church does still need to be deeply mindful of its involvement in slavery and its more recent completely shameful treatment of Windrush generation migrants, who were, in some appalling cases, asked not to come to Church of England services. We ask forgiveness from those who we have treated so badly.