Anti-racism taskforce launches consultation


Church organisations are being invited to give their views on action that could be taken to ensure greater racial equality in the Church of England, as part of work by the Anti-Racism Taskforce.
Members of the anti-racism task force smile on a Zoom call

A short questionnaire has been issued by the Taskforce asking for suggestions as to changes that could be made in five key aspects of Church life – including the appointments process - to ensure greater racial justice.

The request comes after the Taskforce began examining more than 160 recommendations made since 1985 on racial justice in the Church of England. The overwhelming majority were made in reports from the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) and its predecessor, the Committee on Black Anglican Concerns.

The review has highlighted participation by UK minority ethnic people in the life of the church, including appointments, as well as education, training and mentoring, young people and governance and structures of the Church of England as priorities.

In a letter, the co-chairs of the Taskforce, Revd Sonia Barron and Revd Arun Arora, inviting church groups to take part in the consultation, write: “We are seeking to identify actions which are clear and specific with identified outcomes and clear lines of timetabled accountability. These could be at a national, diocesan or parish level.”

Those groups that wish to contribute are invited to fill out a form by November 26.

The Taskforce, launched last month, will carry out preparatory work ahead of the launch in spring next year of the Archbishops’ Commission to address racism.

The nine-strong group will make recommendations for immediate action that can be taken by the Church of England to improve its record on racial justice and equality. They will also recommend the proposed remit and membership of the Commission.

The Taskforce and Commission, a joint project by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York, were announced amid rising concern about insufficient progress towards racial justice, equality and inclusion within the Church of England.

Notes to editors

Taskforce members:

  • Revd Arun Arora (Co-Chair), Vicar of St Nicholas, Durham. 
  • Revd Sonia Barron (Co-Chair), Lincoln Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations, former Adviser to Archbishops’ Council’s Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns.
  • Revd Dr Anderson Jeremiah, Lecturer, University of Lancaster, CMEAC member.
  • Annika Mathews, Lay Representative of the Church of England to the Churches Together England Enabling Group, former Church of England Youth Council member and Synod representative.
  • Joanna Moriarty, Partner (Charities and Social Enterprise) Green Park leadership and recruitment consultancy services.
  • Revd Lusa Nsenga-Ngoy, BAME Mission and Ministry Enabler (Leicester Diocese). CMEAC member.
  • Ben Nicholls, Youth worker at St Paul’s, Hammersmith.
  • Canon Dr Addy Lazz-Onyenobi, Deanery Lay Chair, Diocese of Manchester, CMEAC member and member of the Anglican Minority Ethnic Network (AMEN).
  • Ven Neil Warwick, Archdeacon of Bristol.