Racial Justice

Collage of faces

The Church of England is engaged in a process of reflection and learning in recognition that it has not been the welcoming ‘spiritual home’ it aspires to be for many people whose family heritage lies within Commonwealth countries and the wider world.  

In the 2020 report ‘From Lament to Action’, the Church recognised that its ‘good intentions’ towards being a church where people of diverse backgrounds could feel at home, had never been properly resourced or followed through in terms of policies or practical actions.

In response to this important report, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York established the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice to drive change within the Church and implement the recommendations of ‘From Lament to Action’. The Racial Justice Unit has been established to resource this work at all levels of the Church – within parishes, schools, deaneries, dioceses, cathedrals and Theological Education Institutions.

Fundamentally, the unit exists to try to help churches in England think through and implement an approach to ‘being church’ which allows everyone within our local church communities to contribute and belong, whether their family have lived in the area for generations – or for just a few weeks.

About the Racial Justice Unit

The Racial Justice Unit works in close partnership with stakeholders across the whole church who can ‘make a difference’, as only a holistic approach can contribute to greater racial justice. We will only get a diverse selection of people offering themselves for ordination within the church if families from diverse backgrounds feel actively welcomed within our parishes and our schools.

However, even if we succeed in getting a more diverse pool of candidates for ordination, we still have to ensure that their vocation is nurtured appropriately, and they are able to progress as clergy into positions of responsibility and seniority. Speaking broadly, our task is to help everyone within the Church of England understand that our shared mission is not about perpetuating a form of church life that harks back to life ‘before the war’, but one that reflects the giftings and priorities of the diverse population of Britain today.

The Racial Justice Unit is led by Director Revd Guy Hewitt and Deputy Director Revd Dr Sharon Prentis and supported by staff to achieve the Unit's objectives. You can contact the Racial Justice Unit at [email protected].

Reporting racial incidents in the Church

It's safe to speak out.

A racial incident involves behaviour perceived as motivated by racial hostility or prejudice, such as bullying, verbal abuse, racist jokes, exclusion, malicious complaints, threats, or physical attacks.

To report a concern and access support, contact Race Equality First on 029 2048 6207 through whom can also access confidential counselling, independent advice to explore your options, and/or contact with the Racial Justice Unit.

A racial incident is any incident or alleged incident which involves behaviour, act or a series of actions by a person or group which is perceived by the individual to be motivated, wholly or partly, by racial hostility or racial prejudice towards them or others. Such behaviour may include: bullying or intimidation; verbal abuse, insults, or racist jokes; sharing of racially offensive comments or material; exclusion from normal conversation or activities; malicious complaints; verbal or physical threats or attack; or encouraging others to commit any such acts.

Read the press release for further information about this initiative.

Work we are doing

Our work continues. Learn more about the current national initiatives to address racial justice.

Racial Justice funding
Register with the UKME/GMH communication network
Archbishops' Commission for Racial Justice

Resources

Networks

There are a number of independent networks designed to support UKME clergy and church members. We're working together to promote the profile and participation of UKME Anglicans in all structures of the Church. Learn more below.

Anglican Minority Ethnic Network
Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns
Gypsy, Roma, and Traveller Friendly Churches
Persian Syrian and Parsi Churches
The Tea House
UKME Ordinands and Curates
Zimbabwe National Anglican Fellowship