Read Archbishop Justin's remarks during the debate on Racial Justice in the Church of England at General Synod today:

I want to agree very strongly, particularly with the last two speeches from Ana De Castro and Amatu Christian-Iwuagwu.

Thank you very much for what you said. What you are both emphasizing is that lament to action means action. And I want to just comment very briefly on about three or four things.

One, we have to change the way we do appointments. That actually means change the way we do appointments! It means you can’t say, ‘I want someone like me.’ You can’t say I want someone with my theology rather than someone who might…who I’m not quite sure about. I have sat through so many occasions where it’s oh yes, they’re wonderful but just not here and not now. That’s got to change. ‘Why not here? Why not now?’ asked by an Archdeacon in an appointment meeting led to the best appointment I have made in my life, and she is sitting over there.

We need to change our practices... why is it so much agony to remove a memorial to slavery that sits in front of the dean of a college, Jesus College Cambridge, who has to look at it every time she sits in her stall? Why is it so difficult to do that? Why do they have to go through hearing how it doesn’t really matter, it’s not strictly accurate and so on and so forth? When all they want to do is put it somewhere safer. Somewhere that they can comment on it, not to blow it up.

And the strategy, it’s great to have strategies but they must turn into local action, engagement at every level. We cannot continue to say not here, not now.

Read more: Lack of action on racial justice is ‘chilling’, Lord Boateng tells Synod


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