The Anglican Church is to instruct cathedrals and churches across the country to review their monuments for links to slavery and colonialism as the Church continues with its “Black Lives Matter-inspired agenda,” Breitbart reported.
Guidance to be issued this week instructs the Church of England’s 12,500 parishes and 42 cathedrals to scrutinize buildings and grounds for problematic historic links.
Among actions that may be taken are the removal, relocation or alteration of plaques and monuments, and the addition of contextual information. In some cases, there may be no change, but the author of the review stresses that ignoring contested heritage is not an option.
Becky Clark, who produced the guidance, told the Observer: “Our church buildings and cathedrals are the most visible part of the C of E, a Christian presence in every community. The responsibility to ensure they include, welcome and provide safe spaces for all is a vitally important part of addressing the way historic racism and slavery still impacts people today.”
Clark said the guidance sought to “empower rather than shut down conversation” and the guidance
“It doesn’t make political statements, except to say the history of racism and slavery is undeniable, as is the fact that racism and the legacy of slavery are still part of many people’s lives today. Responding to those in the right way is a Christian duty. Doing nothing is not an option. There has to be engagement with this,” she said.
“The job of local parishes is to figure out how this impacts our communities today. Are there people who feel this church is not for them because of the built heritage, and what can we do about it?” she said.
The report acknowledged that deciding what to do with buildings and monuments that have links to slavery is ‘not easy’.
The report added: “While history should not be hidden, we also do not want to unconditionally celebrate or commemorate people who contributed to or benefitted from the tragedy that was the slave trade.”
The archbishops of Canterbury and York established an “anti-racism task force” in April which carried out a review of the action it had taken to address its own role in the slave trader.
“We do not want to unconditionally celebrate or commemorate people who contributed to or benefited from the tragedy that was the slave trade,” the task force said.
While the Church of England already apologized in 2006 for their historic role in the slave trade, Breitbart reported Church leaders issued a second apology last year during the height of Black Lives Matter protests in Britain.
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby admitted and apologized for coming “from privilege and a place of power as a white person in this country”, according to the report.
Breitbart reported the Archbishop said he “is no doubt when we look at our own Church that we are still deeply institutionally racist. Let’s just be clear about that.”
Welby also told the U.K they must “welcome” mass immigration in an extraordinary political opinion piece. He also pronounced that God is gender-neutral.