News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

augustine tanner-ihm racism church of england tweet curate thumb.jpg
augustine tanner-ihm racism church of england tweet curate thumb.jpg
UK News

Black ordinand refutes 'apology' from C of E after rejection from white majority parish

by Heather Preston

A black ordinand who was denied a curacy position in a white majority parish says a "wrong choice of words" does not excuse the Church of England's actions, after it issued a public statement of apology.

The Church of England issued an apology to Augustine Tanner-Ihm after it was reported that he was rejected from a curacy position, in part, due to his ethnicity.

Curacy in the Church of England is a post taken up after ordination, often supporting the vicar pastorally and getting preaching experience before they may become a vicar themselves.

Mr Tanner-Ihm's rejection email, received on 14th February said: "I am afraid that despite some of your obvious gifts, we do not think it worth pursuing a conversation with you about the curacy position at [omitted]. We are not confident that there is sufficient 'match' between you and the particular requirements of that post. 

"Firstly, the demographic of the parish is monochrome white working class, where you might feel uncomfortable. Second, we feel you would be best suited to a curacy with a more experienced incumbent than the one in [omitted]." 

This curacy rejection is one of eight Tanner-Ihm claims he has received.

In response, the Church of England issued a public apology for the distress Tanner-Ihm's rejection letter had caused him.

It states that the sender of the original email sent Mr Tanner-Ihm an apology the same day after "quickly recognising and regretting my poor choice of words." 

"I am very sorry indeed that what I said was hurtful to Mr Tanner-Ihm. It was careless, thoughtless and hasty and I still regret my choice of words," it reads.

The statement goes on to say that the Bishop of St Albans, Dr Alan Smith, also wrote and apologised to Augustine Tanner-Ihm and expressed his personal commitment and that of the diocese "to the increase and flourishing of BAME candidates for ministry and more widely the inclusion of BAME people in the churches, chaplaincies and schools here."

It addd: "The Diocese of St Albans make a further, full and unreserved apology now to Mr Tanner-Ihm for the hurt caused to him."

Following the statement issued on the 17th June, Tanner-Ihm posted the following response on Twitter: 

"Apologies for 'the wrong choice of words' isn't an apology. It would have been kind to send this to me before a press release"



Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of $11 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the USA is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of $11 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Support Us

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.

News by email