The report says that ecclesiastical monuments linked to trade are a source of great harm

Church race leader slams slavery stance: Report says trade-related impacts cause major harm

  • The Church of England has failed to demolish antiquities linked to slavery, the Archbishop’s Commission on Racial Justice found in a report.
  • A recent ruling forced Jesus College, Cambridge, to keep a commemorative plaque of 17th-century Tobias Rosstat who had made money from the slave trade
  • Lord Boateng, the UK’s first black minister, said the question of what to do with the effects of the slave trade was ‘a source of great disservice to many’.

The Church of England was heavily criticized by the Race Watch for its failure to demolish monuments associated with slavery.

The Bishops Commission on Racial Justice report says that worshipers continue to suffer racial injustice and abuse at the hands of the church.

It dedicates a recent ruling that obliged Jesus College, Cambridge, to keep a plaque memorial to Tobias Rosstat from the 17th century who had made money from the slave trade.

Commission Chair Lord Boateng, who was the UK’s first black minister to be appointed First Treasurer in Tony Blair’s government in 2002, said the question of what to do with the slave trade-related implications was an “urgent question” that was “a source of great disservice to many”.

Lord Boateng, the UK’s first black minister, said the question of what to do with the effects of the slave trade was ‘a source of great disservice to many’.

In the report, the former Labor Secretary wrote: “I must begin by sharing the sense of deep wound and pain I experienced in the process.

This includes wounding those who have suffered and continue to suffer racial injustice within and at the hands of the Church of England, its institutions and practices.

He added that “examining racism and exposing injustice is often denial and defensive or obfuscation and delay. This should not go unchallenged.”

The report’s findings were “highly welcomed” by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who said: “This report outlines the difficult and long road to eliminating the pain and injustice felt by so many.”

The report calls for reforms in the Constituent Court, the old ecclesiastical legal system that normally deals with exhumations and disputes over tombstones, but now has to rule on the effects of slavery.

The commission says the hurt felt in the Rosstat case cannot be ignored.

Cambridge College has renamed student halls known as “The Colony” to “Castle Court” due to concerns that it would be seen as a reference to slavery.

Activists have claimed that any references to Britain’s imperial past could delay ethnic minority applicants.

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