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Independent agency appointed to investigate racist incidents in the Church of England

24 May 2024

Won Seok Kim

Members of the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice

Members of the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice

AN INDEPENDENT agency, Race Equality First, has been commissioned to investigate racist incidents in the Church of England.

The C of E’s director of racial justice, the Revd Guy Hewitt, said on Thursday: “Sadly, anecdotal evidence suggested that such occurrences are more common than appreciated.”

“For our GMH/UKME communities [Global Majority Heritage/UK Minoritised Ethnic], being stereotyped, overlooked, or excluded, or facing harassment, hostile comments or microaggression are an all-too-common experience. Leaving such behaviours unchallenged or brushed under the carpet is seriously damaging both to individuals and our faith community.”

The report of the Archbishops’ anti-racism task force From Lament To Action (News, 22 April 2021) recommended the setting up of a robust, independent system for handling complaints.

As a result, the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice has appointed Race Equality First to gather information about racist incidents and how complaints are handled.

The agency is not expected to resolve matters complained about, although they can offer confidential counselling and independent advice. The object is to inform the Commission for Racial Justice of the extent of the problem and recommend improvements to ensure that any complaint is dealt with thoroughly and sensitively, and that “effective redress is available”.

Race Equality First is an agency of the Race Equality Foundation, a national charity addressing racial inequality in public services. It can be contacted on 029 2048 6207.

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