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Photo Credit: The Church of England
Photo Credit: The Church of England
Photo Credit: The Church of England
Photo Credit: The Church of England
UK News

Vicar takes on interim role for C of E body that addresses minority ethnic concerns

by Tola Mbakwe

Rev Canon Dr Chigor Chike has been appointed as the Church of England's interim National Adviser Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns as work begins to establish a new body to combat racism.

Dr Chike, who is the vicar of Emmanuel Church, Forest Gate, East London and chair of the Anglican Minority Ethnic Network (AMEN), is taking on the role for six months. This is ahead of a permanent appointment of a replacement for Dr Elizabeth Henry, who retired this year after seven years.

The Church said Dr Chike's time in the group will be a crucial period as it prepares for the establishment of a new Archbishops' Racism Action Commission.

Dr Chike, who has degrees from Oxford and Birmingham and is author of numerous books, has been based in his East London church since 2010. He is also chair of the Rights and Equalities in Newham charity, advocating for marginalised people.

He said: "I am really looking forward to the secondment to the role of National Adviser Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns.

"I have worked in the field of anti-racism for the past twenty-five years and do not know a time when people have been more aware of systemic racism or more determined to dismantle it. 

"I would be looking to play a part to the Church of England's response to this moment."

The House of Bishops voted recently to establish a new Racism Action Commission to start work early next year to implement "significant cultural and structural" change within the Church of England on race. The commission will also monitor progress on changes.

Preparatory work ahead of the Commission, will be conducted by a Task Force.

Dr Chike will be part of the Mission and Public Affairs (MPA) department.

Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, director of the MPA Department said: "We have a thorough process in place for identifying a permanent Advisor on Black Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) issues, but the work is too important to wait for that process to take its course.

"Chigor will play a pivotal role at a crucial time as the Church of England builds on a new commitment to addressing racism and seeking he full inclusion of all people within its life and ministry."

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