Bishop Guli welcomes Church of England Anti Racism Taskforce Report
22nd Apr 2021
The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani has welcomed the Archbishops’ Anti Racism Taskforce report that was published today.
The report commissioned by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York last year, sets out 47 specific actions for different arms of the Church of England to implement across five priority areas: participation, governance, training, education and young people.
Commenting on the report, Bishop Guli said:
“I join the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in welcoming this report and the actions set out within it.
At the heart of our faith is the belief that we are all made in the image of God and that in Jesus Christ we are one. As Christians we believe that racism is a sin. However, the report rightly acknowledges that there is racism within our Church. The report also rightly acknowledges that we have been talking about racism for many years without taking the necessary action to deal with it.
Failing to take action this time will be the final straw for many and the consequences could be devastating.
This must not be a minority concern. It is the responsibility of everyone within the Church to tackle racism. By doing so we can help to ensure that the Church embraces the full gifts of all its people. This is a missional imperative”.
The Bishop of Colchester and Chair of the Diocese of Chelmsford Racial Justice Task Group, the Rt Revd Roger Morris also welcomed the report:
“The Church of England nationally has produced more that 20 reports relating to Racial Justice. It has made and passed over 160 recommendations since the publication of Faith in the City in 1985.
The sad and shameful truth is that many of the actions approved and adopted by the Church have not been acted upon or followed through.
I am confident that this report marks a sea change in our attitude and commitment to do justice and not just to advocate for justice. We know that love without justice tends simply to keep things as they are; we may feel better but we will fail to DO better or BE better.
Together with the National Church, the members of the Diocese of Chelmsford Racial Justice Task and Finish group are calling for a profound change of heart, a deep reaching metanoia or repentance on the part of the whole church. It remains the case that there are things that we all say and things that we all do and there are systems and processes and cultures that knowingly or unknowingly exclude, or devalue, or discriminate against some of our sisters and brothers in Christ.
We are fully committed to addressing this and look forward to continuing to work with the National Church in order to take this work forward.”