A contested memorial at King Charles the Martyr Church in Falmouth has been deemed ‘of real importance in understanding and telling the history of Falmouth’.
Following a long process of consultation and engagement which brought a consensus of opinion that the memorial should not be destroyed, but rather should serve, the church’s Parochial Church Council (PCC) has agreed to explore ways in which the memorial can be used as a focus for racial reconciliation, not division.
The PCC will seek further assistance from the Church of England’s Contested Heritage Committee in coordinating the next steps and in sourcing funding towards interpretation of the memorial and how it may best be used to tell the story of Falmouth’s involvement in the transatlantic slave trade.
Revd Canon Bill Stuart-White said: “The PCC believes that the Church has an important role to play in the process of racial reconciliation. We see the value of interpreting the memorial within the church and in conjunction with the story of Joseph Emidy, whose memorial is nearby.
“We know that we need expert help to do that properly. That help and assistance must embrace all the interested parties including the Remove Slave Trader Memorial Falmouth group and we will be reaching out to them in the next few days.”
The PCC is also hoping that the memorial may be adopted by the Church of England’s Racial Justice Unit as a case-study so that others can also learn from the process and the outcomes.