Racial Justice Officers: Statement by Archbishop Stephen Cottrell, Bishop David Walker and Canon John Spence

12/07/2021

Members of the House of Bishops, Church Commissioners Board & Archbishops’ Council have heard the concerns of General Synod and others over recent days, following the Archbishops’ Council decision not to proceed with the Racial Justice Task Force’s recommendation to appoint and fund a Racial Justice Officer for each one of our 42 dioceses.
 
We recognise and support the aspiration behind this recommendation to enable all our dioceses, whatever their local context, to be able to work on the issue of racial justice within the Church and in wider society.  

We look forward to working with the Racial Justice Commission, which will be responsible for helping the Church make the cultural and structural transformation required to bring new life and be a truly inclusive Church. 

The Racial Justice Commission, as part of its remit, will engage in dialogue with dioceses to better understand the needs, desires and commitments of local contexts. This will enable the aspiration behind the Racial Justice Officer recommendation to be delivered successfully in ways that reflect local needs and differences. We will be listening very carefully to what they tell us.  

The Archbishops’ Council has agreed 34 of the 39 recommendations directed to it by the Racial Justice Task Force. This includes the establishment of a Racial Justice Unit within the Council.   

We are committed to working with dioceses, with the Racial Justice Commission and with the Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (in its new, strengthened form) to develop effective solutions to these challenges and to develop a refined proposal to deliver the aspirations behind the recommendation.

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York, Joint President of Archbishops’ Council, Church Commissioner
David Walker, Bishop of Manchester, Church Commissioners’ Deputy Chair
John Spence, Archbishops’ Council (Chair of Finance Committee) 

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