On 10 August, The Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice (ACRJ) announced the publication of its Third Report, which was covered in an earlier post. A further Press Release was issued by the Archbishop of York on 12 September 2023 – Archbishops’ Commission on Racial Justice Releases Third Biannual Report . Extracts from this later document are reproduced below.
Commission on Racial Justice: 3rd Biannual Report
Mandated to drive ‘significant cultural and structural change on issues of racial justice within the Church of England’, the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice (“ACRJ”), headed by The Rt Hon Lord Paul Boateng, is charged with monitoring, holding to account and supporting the implementation of the forty-seven recommendations of the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce which were laid out in the Taskforce’s comprehensive 2021 report From Lament to Action.
In his foreword letter to the third Report, Lord Boateng continues to praise the work of the Church Commissioners on Project Spire but calls for a process that places Africa, the Caribbean and their Diaspora at its heart in order to ensure restorative justice.
The third Report celebrates the impressive work of the “Leaders Like Us” programme which is revolutionising leadership development in education [Culture & Liturgy, p33]. The Report also welcomes the first disbursement (of approximately £0.75M) by the Racial Justice Triennium Fund approval panel following submissions by a number of dioceses. It hopes and encourages other dioceses needing to develop a social justice plan and/or put a strategy in place to take advantage of the small grants available. [Patronage, Governance and Funding, p47].
Much of the focus of the Report is on the notion of reparation, with a theological reflection contributed by Professor Anthony Reddie [Pg 19] and a paper on the theological case for reparation by Professor Mike Higton [Revisiting the Rustat Case, p51]. The Report also comments on recent developments in Contested Heritage and includes an update from the Head of Conservation, Cathedral & Church Buildings Division on progress being made, and how the Commission’s work on the theology of contested heritage will be used by the Division to inform its work in relation to faculty jurisdiction for church buildings [Theology; Slavery; History & Memory, p27].
The Commission continues to monitor revisions to the Clergy Discipline Measure, expressing concern at the lack of baseline data across the National Church Institutions to ensure that the recommendations of From Lament to Action can be realised. [Complaints Handling, p39 and Participation, p41]