Brown supports black forum

31 October 2007

by Rachel Harden

A MEETING between the Prime Minister and the Black Christian Leaders Forum was described as “extremely positive” by its members this week. Gordon Brown pledged support for the group, and urged its members to continue helping to build stronger communities. He also agreed to further meetings, promising that the Government would continue to take their concerns seriously.

Speaking on Tuesday, the Revd Katei Kirby, chief executive officer of the African and Caribbean Evangelical Alliance, a member of the forum, said the Prime Minister had been hugely supportive of all that the Churches were doing.

“We were also impressed with the fact that he was knowledgable about what was going on, and very committed to what we could do next.

“He was keen to ensure that allocated resources met needs in the community, and that there should be a lasting legacy from the bicentenary of the abolition of the slave trade.”

She described the forum as representing the whole range of black Christian Churches. “We meet as black Christian leaders in Britain: that is what we hold in common.

We want to encourage every one

of our members to engage in

society and get involved in the community.”

The forum has previously met other members of the Government, thanks to the offices of Baroness Amos. This role had now been taken on by David Lammy MP.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Lammy said: “All sides see this as a successful meeting. This is not just the beginning, but a continuation of real partnership to deal with issues that exist not just within the black community but nationally.”

Joel Edwards, general director of the Evangelical Alliance, said that the Prime Minister had a track-record of valuing the place of faith in building cohesive communities.

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