News by emailDonate

Suggestions

Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Travellers-Caravans-on-Falkland-Way-main_article_image.jpg
David Wright/Wikimedia Commons https://www.geograph.org.uk/profile/1782
UK News

Church of England vote to support land-finding for travellers and tackle racism

by Press Association

The church's governing body, the General Synod, voted in favour of a motion on Saturday to speak out publicly against racism and hate crimes directed against Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Roma.

The Synod voted overwhelmingly in favour of the motion, with 265 supporting it and one voting against.

The Bishop of Chelmsford, Stephen Cottrell - who put forward the motion, told the synod: "If one of us in any situation was to use racist language about some other person or group, it is very likely in today's society that we would, and rightly so, be immediately called out.

"Racism against Travellers and Roma and Gypsies is still tolerated.

"The Equality and Human Rights Commission have found that discrimination and racism towards Gypsies and Travellers is common, frequently overt and seen as justified.

"The police have said that a prejudice against Gypsies and Travellers in endemic in our society, and often fuelled by stereotypes in the media."

A report by Anglia Ruskin University was cited, which found that nine out of every 10 Traveller children had experienced racist abuse.

He then added: "Sorrowfully, we, the church of God are no exception, there are examples of the racist hostility and exclusion meted out by the church.

"Gypsy, Traveller and Roma people deserve particular support, hence the motions call to the leadership of the church to speak on these issues for every diocese to think about appointing a chaplain."

The motion would call for each diocese to be encouraged to appoint a chaplain to Travellers, to help the potential for church growth, and work to combat racism in the church and wider community.

The Synod then discussed instigating a commission on sites for Gypsies and Travellers to encourage the local and national church to make land available for new sites managed by Housing Associations.

Mary Durlacher, a parishioner in the north of Chelmsford diocese, spoke in opposition and said: "Being near to the A12, we found one day, that one of our two churches had a car park completely full of Travellers.

"Police advice was, don't go there, let us deal with it, in the meantime it meant no services, and on a Friday of a bank holiday, the church was inaccessible.

"People wanting to visit their relatives or their families buried in the churchyard couldn't, there was a lot of upset and there was fear because there is a link with a rise in petty crime - I don't know the exact figures, but there is a correlation."

The motion passed almost unanimously though. 

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Tell us what you think about our news service, what you want and how Premier fits into your news landscape. Take our quick survey!

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £5 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 UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £5 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.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

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

Connect

Donate

Donate