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Val Potter
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World News

Plaque honouring slave trader with racist language set to be removed from church

by Sophie Drew

A church in Dorchester is rejoicing as a historic plaque celebrating a slave trader, and using offensive language, is set to be removed.

The plaque commemorates the life of plantation owner John Gordon Esq, celebrating his role in ending a slave rebellion. Up to 500 people were killed by those trying to quash the uprising. 

Due to the extremely offensive language used, St Peter's Church has covered the plaque for the last two years. 

On the cover, a sign reads: "The remainder of this memorial has been covered as it commemorates actions and uses language that are totally unacceptable to us today.

"Following a consultation within the church and the wider community, the Parochial Church Council has agreed to apply for its removal."

A judge has agreed that the memorial should be removed. It will now be stored in Dorset Museum. 

In a statement the church said: "The memorial explicitly commends the action of brutally quelling a slave rebellion, using a totally unacceptable racist term, so it contradicts our aim to be an inclusive church, welcoming everyone as made equally in the image of God."

Church warden Val Potter told the BBC: "We are delighted. We didn't want to destroy it but on the church wall is not the place for it."

The plaque will be replaced with a new memorial to acknowledge John Gordon.
 

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