GS 2243 Racial Justice in the Church of England

January 21, 2022
GS 2243 Racial Justice in the Church of England

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This paper summarises the actions taken since the death of George Floyd, as well as some recent work on racial justice and public policy.

May 2020 saw a sea-change in the discourse on race and ethnicity in the Western world, when the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis sparked a reaction from people of Global Majority Heritage.

The Task Force report included recommendations that would require more radical changes in the life and structures of the church.

Within the NCIs, work began to address the recommendations, which included the recommendation that every diocese should employ a full time racial justice officer.

Our theology of race derives from Galatians 3:28. The human race is one in Christ, and in order to experience the Kingdom of God fully, we must replicate our equality.

Christians are involved in the movement for racial justice. Some are concerned about Critical Race Theory and whether it is consistent with Christian convictions.

Some secular theories overlap with Christian theology, such as intersectionality which challenges the liberal trope that neutrality is sufficient condition for fairness.

The ways we approach theology of racial justice are contested in the church and are subject to debate, but we should always begin with our commitment to Christ.

CMEAC has been a body for the church's work on issues of race and ethnicity for over 30 years, yet little has changed.

The Council decided not to abolish CMEAC but to review its terms of reference and make the Chair a full member of the Council.

CMEAC held a national theology conference in 2021 and roundtables supporting Gypsy, Traveller and Roma issues.

CMEAC has commissioned two larger projects for 2022: A report on anti-racism, racial justice, and belonging, inclusion and diversity of race, and a collection of sacred liturgical objects.

The church's pursuit of racial justice is inseparable from its mission to the world.

The Nationality and Borders Bill has a significant impact on the lives of UKME/GMH people. The Bishop of Durham and MPA raised a number of concerns on the bill in response to the consultation.

Clause 9 of the Bill allows the Secretary of State to strip people without notice of their citizenship. This disproportionately impacts the UKME/GMH population.

Three bishops spoke against the refugee bill; they discussed the need for safe and legal routes, family reunion, modern slavery, citizenship, the right of asylum seekers to work, and community sponsorship.

The process of electing additional UKME/GMH members to Synod and the process of bringing participant observers to the House of Bishops has been defined and signed off.

There are significant obstacles to meeting the 16 recommendations under the Participation category, and these obstacles include a large budget and GDPR requirements.

The 11 recommendations under this category have achieved significant progress. The Education and National Society teams have engaged external partners where necessary to meet the targets.

Many TEIs are making good progress on 9 liturgical recommendations. However, there is still a need to consider specific Anglican traditions and demographics.

The Task Force was not able to evaluate the limits of the NCIs' current staffing and resource capacity and is continuing to cost and contextualise the outstanding recommendations of the report.

The Commission will engage with dioceses to discuss various issues, and will be visiting dioceses including Truro, Liverpool, Durham, Oxford, Chester, Worcester, London, Coventry & Portsmouth.

This Annexe gives an overview of the progress made in response to the recommendations of the From Lament to Action report.

This recommendation has been deferred until Feb 22 Group of Sessions for a variety of reasons. The Prolocutors of Canterbury and York and the Chair & Vice Chair of the House of Laity need to discuss the details of implementing it.

UKME/GMH clergy will be invited to attend House of Bishops' meetings as participant observers for three years.

A committee of UKME/GMH clergy is being assembled to elect four observers to join the House of Bishops in 2022.

The Chief Officers have approved work to improve diversity data and recruitment data of clergy, NCI staff, and trustees.

HR is piloting diversity data collection with Pensions Board Trustees and a cathedral. NCI HR will develop a toolkit and expand its HR Diversity Data to include trustee diversity information.

Any future cohorts of the Strategic Leadership Development Programme should have 30% UKME/GMH participation, and diocesan bishops should nominate at least 1 UKME/GMH candidate.

This recommendation will be considered as part of any future programme to help people into the SLDP.

This online module would need theological rigour to be effective and engage hearts and minds, and is recommended as part of the wider Racial Justice Triennium Funding application.

- Create recruitment roadmaps for every kind of recruitment undertaken in a church, including non-executive roles.

This recommendation aims at creating a best practice toolkit to ensure effective diversity in senior recruitment and training of UKME/GMH and disabled people to participate in selection panels.

The senior appointments team is discussing how to operationalise the strategy, but it may not include one candidate in each list.

"Recruiters must consider UKME/GMH candidates for all senior appointments of Band 2 or above and publish the reasons why they don't."

Annual data on NCIs appointments could be integrated and published if numbers were not too small to give information about individuals. However, this recommendation of including at least one appointable UKME candidate for every senior appointment is not currently planned within our HR strategy .

In 2020, there will be 13 senior clergy from UKME backgrounds, up from 8 in 2012.

All Dioceses should send reports to Racial Justice Directorate, recording the number of UKME/GMH clergy and lay appointments made and shortlisted for interview.

A diversity monitoring form is being developed for dioceses who wish to engage in racial justice strategies and equality, diversity, and inclusion.

Training for senior panels could contain a component on anti-racism with an intersectional framework. This training should be supported by a broader programme of culture change.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York will consider the recommendations of their staff during the first quarter of 2022.

The Archbishops' Advisor on Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns and CMEAC have held a number of national events to discuss EDI & Racial justice issues.

While the Education Office does not have the power to influence chaplain appointments, it can advocate for greater diversity.

The AAMEAC is giving a keynote address on racial justice in higher education in the spring of 2022.

The Education Office has launched a programme to help schools to think differently about curriculum and to engage with theological issues. The programme requires significant resources, and a bid for £0.7 million has been built into the Racial Justice Triennium Funding application.

Develop a comprehensive approach to recruitment and professional development of UKME/GMH teachers and leaders in Church of England schools.

This is an ambitious recommendation with a wide range of sub-recommendations, but the Education Office can offer materials and resources to help schools celebrate diversity.

Education Office, Diocesan network, ILM participants, Monitoring, Examples of celebrating diversity, Progression networks for UKME/GMH leaders.

Some resources will be available in 2022, but the costs will be absorbed within current budgets.

National standards of training for TEI staff should include an introductory Black Theology module, a Global Theologies module, and a process for diversifying the curriculum.

The Common Awards team and Quality in Formation Panel added explicit references to engaging with diverse and marginalised perspectives.

The CofE Education Office is planning to publish a report highlighting some good practice in addressing the negative impact of exclusion on UKME children.

Audit the ethnic diversity of teaching staff and headteachers in all C of E primary and secondary schools and build recruitment processes to improve representation and participation of UKME/GMH people.

Significant progress has been made in strategized data gathering, and the launch of the Racial Justice Triennium Funding application is expected to provide significant resources for this programme.

Faith At Home has already produced some excellent resources for schools, but a suite of resources that could be used for schools would be welcomed.

A working group formed by the National Ministry Team and the Common Awards Team is currently working to ensure that this recommendation is fulfilled.

The first book is currently being developed by CMEAC with SCM Press and will include chapters from the Archbishop of York, among other prominent theologians and practitioners.

A number of materials have been created in collaboration with dioceses for Lent, Advent or Black History Month.

A working group made up of TEIs and the National Ministry Team is working to ensure that all resources are available for Racial Justice Sunday and Black History Month.

The Church of England Liturgical Commission will mark Racial Justice Sunday in February of each year.

The Liturgical Commission has already worked with CTBI on racial justice resources. The recommendation appears to be that the Church amends its calendar to include Racial Justice Sunday.

DAG is exploring how to deliver the aspirations behind the recommendation, and will develop a good practice guide for reverse mentoring.

A training package to address bias is proposed as an evaluated pilot package to test longer term possibilities for a "level 2" module.

National Ministry Team to produce a handbook for DDOs to help them embed anti-racism practices in the new discernment framework.

This recommendation requires resources to be completed and should be considered in the context of the discussion about how discernment frameworks are received by the DDO community.

The NMT needs to work on a 'toolkit' for the NMT, including guidelines and best practice. This work needs to link into the Training 3 recommendations above.

This recommendation is not covered by the work of the Archbishops' Council.

This recommendation is not covered by the work of the Archbishops' Council.

The Strategic Investment Board approved the first SDF applications to focus on UKME/GMH populations in December 2021, and the Board encouraged a strong focus on UKME/GMH populations in the applications submitted.

The Education Office is currently engaging young people on racial justice, belonging and inclusion through their National younger leadership groups and risk assessed, piloted and rolled out projects.

The new Racial Justice Unit has been incorporated into the new Faith and Public Life team and the new budget and structure plan.

The AC must decide on the future of the CMEAC Chair, and the AC must decide if they should stay on as observers.

An audit of CofE governance structures should be carried out and qualitative research into barriers to greater representation and participation of UKME/GMH people should be conducted.

This recommendation has been operationalised in two parts; the National Ministry Team has been working with Vocations and Research; a spin off project on clergy wellbeing has been launched.

A full-time diocesan racial justice officer should be appointed in every diocese. He/she would be responsible for implementing a racial justice strategy and would participate in Bishop Staff meetings.

The application for Racial Justice Triennium Funding takes into account a £7.6 million resource allocation for dioceses to create such roles.

To increase representation and participation of UKME/GMH people, dioceses should adopt a process, procedures and policies, and should adopt and implement these processes, procedures and policies.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York appointed a Commission to identify, respond to and root out systemic racism in the Church, with expertise and experiences in racial justice, Ecclesiology, Liturgy, Formation & Theological education, and History & Politics.

The Commission will balance the needs of individuals, communities, and society, and will maximise opportunities for all. It will also consider detailed quantitative and qualitative evidence.

We hope that the commission's work will improve data and evidence about barriers faced by minority ethnic people from different backgrounds.

The Commission is independent of the National Church Institutions and must comply with legal requirements and best practice.

The Commission will work collaboratively with the Racial Justice Unit to hold the Church of England to account on its anti-racism efforts.

The Commission will be chaired by Lord Paul Yaw Boateng and consist of 12 members. The Commission will be supported by a staff team and be led by Dr. Sanjee Perera.

The Racial Justice Commission will take a highly participative approach to gathering evidence and finding common ground.

- Field trips to relevant sites in England, discussions with key stakeholders, analysis of interviews, and submission of evidence relevant to each workstream.

The Commission will be launched in the Autumn of 2021, and its work will be examined by the House of Bishops and Archbishops Council.