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Augustine Tanner-Ihm on racial inequality in the C of E, and the Black Lives Matter movement

11 June 2020

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On this week’s podcast, Ed Thornton talks to Augustine Tanner-Ihm about racism in the Church of England and beyond. 

“I really wanted to share God’s love, transform this society with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and do it in whatever context God calls me to.”

Augustine, who recently completed his ordinand training at Cranmer Hall, Durham and has since been applying for curacies, received an email reply from one parish rejecting him “firstly” on the grounds that “the demographic of the parish is monochrome white working class, where you might feel uncomfortable”. Augustine has lived, trained, and worked almost exclusively in white working-class communities “If anyone is looking for ordination in the Church of England and they are BAME, then you understand that you are probably going to be in an all-white parish, because the majority of the country is white” and was disappointed that there was no attempt to enter into a conversation about how he might feel as a black man working in a white-majority parish, before his decision was made for him.

They go on to discuss the current spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement and what needs to be done to address structural injustice in the Church. 

Augustine is one of three finalists in Theology Slam 2020, which takes place online on 23rd June. His talk will be about Theology and Race. Find out more here.

Podcast edited by Serena Long.

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