BBC Panorama programme ‘Is the Church Racist?’

Apr 20, 2021 by

Statement from the Church of England:

The BBC Panorama programme ‘Is the Church Racist?’ tonight explored allegations of racism and discrimination within the Church of England.

The programme includes interviews with a number of UK Minority Ethnic clergy as well as laity and those training for ordained ministry about experiences within the Church. We have worked with the producers to provide information and a response to a number of issues raised.

The allegations – whether involving individuals or the wider structures or culture of the Church – are deeply worrying and there is no place for racism or discrimination within the Church.

This week the Church of England publishes the report of the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce which was commissioned last year by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York to scrutinise previous reports and recommendations made to the Church of England over the last 36 years and establish what progress, if any, the Church has made on racial justice.

It followed a public apology at the General Synod in February 2020 by the Archbishop of Canterbury for racism experienced by black and minority ethnic people in the Church of England since the arrival of the Windrush Generation. He also said that there is ‘no doubt’ that the Church of England is still “deeply institutionally racist”.

The Taskforce report, which will be published on Thursday, April 22, Stephen Lawrence Day, will make dozens of specific recommendations to different parts of the Church, with a clear timetable for action, designed to help make the Church of England fairer and more diverse, to become representative of the people of England.

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