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Church News

Church of England considering BAME quota for leadership programme, leaked document reveals

There are claims the Church of England is considering introducing a 30 per cent quota for ethnic minority clergy on its strategic leadership development programme, a leaked report has revealed.

The Spectator is reporting the institution is also planning to provide training on racism and give context about church statues that might cause " pain or offence" as part of their efforts to combat racism within the institution.

The leaked report contains calls for the Church of England leaders to "acknowledge, repent and take decisive action to address the shameful history and legacy".

A report entitled “From Lament to Action: Report of the Archbishops' Anti-Racism Taskforce" that looks into these issues is due to be published on 22nd April and has revealed there should be at least "one UK minority ethnic clergy elected from each region".

Currently, there are five serving bishops from BAME backgrounds in the Church of England but only one of 42 diocesan bishops comes from a BAME background, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Rt Revd Guli Francis-Dehqani.

Last October, an anti-racism task-force was established to come up with recommendations and to create a timetable to implement more than 160 recommendations that have been made to the Church of England since 1985.

The Archbishops of Canterbury and York said: “As Archbishops, we commissioned this report because the time for talking about tackling systemic racism has long since passed: this is a moment for decisive action. The heart of the new life brought about by Christ means that we are changed by God into a new people, being built together into a holy temple. In this new life we are told in the Bible that we are one, united by God. That is why when our behaviour treats other Christians as lesser or other, or our theology fails to celebrate the dramatic nature of our transformation in Christ, or our appointments and processes reinforce such prejudice: that is all sin. 
 
“This draft report by an independent working group challenges that sin in practical and applied terms, and we welcome it for that reason. The work of the Anti-Racism Task Force is also laying important foundations for the forthcoming Racial Justice Commission, which will identify ways in which the Church can work towards full and equal participation by all God’s people in our shared life in Christ. Such work is obedience to Christ. A church can do no other”

The implementation of the recommendations will be overseen by a Racial Justice Unit over a period of five years, due to be created in April.

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