Church of England seeks 'anti-racism' officer to 'deconstruct whiteness'

On Tuesday, the Church of England Birmingham announced their intention to recruit a team of 11 people to "develop and embed anti-racist practices" and work on "deconstructing whiteness" among its church members.

According to a recruitment post on its website for an anti-racism practice officer, the church revealed that they had teamed with Church of England Diocese in the West Midlands as well as the dioceses of Coventry, Gloucester, Hereford, Lichfield, and Worcester, which together had received funding from the Racial Justice unit to hire the team.

"That team will help us ensure that structures, practices, and behaviors throughout our Church and churches embrace people of GMH and UKME [UK Minority Ethnic/Global Majority] backgrounds and enable them to flourish," it said.

The team's responsibilities include "Sharing theological insights informed by our cultural origins, sharing worship practices, reviewing participation in our structures and activities, inviting previously unheard contributions into our governance structures, and deconstructing whiteness."

The church revealed that the purpose of the role was to "enable non-GMH/UKME clergy and lay church members to understand and remove the barriers they create to contributions from GMH/UKME clergy and lay church members," and the person who accepts it would need to build groups for people "wanting to address their own racism."

In June 2020, the Church of England's House of Bishops recommended the creation of an Archbishop's task force to implement "significant cultural and structural change," when it comes to racial justice within the church.

In the commission's biannual report, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby said, "As Lord Boateng makes clear in his foreword, at the halfway point of the Commission's remit there is still so much that needs to be done if we are to achieve our goal of a more diverse Church of England."

“I am very conscious of the need to act more quickly than we have to date to respond to the lack of Global Majority Heritage/UKME clergy in the senior ranks of the Church," he added. "But I am encouraged to read some of the wonderful examples where the Commission has encountered good practice."

“These reports continue to remind us that we have a very long way to go if we are to become a truly representative church in the communities in which we work, better reflecting the diverse make-up of the people we are here to serve and bring to Christ," The Archbishop of York, Stephen Cottrell added.


Image: Title: Church of England Anti racism
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