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Black Lives Matter

Many will want to know about the response of the Church to the current Black Lives Matter campaigns.

The shocking, avoidable, death of George Floyd at the hands of police in America has sparked a new global wave of protest and concern for the treatment of black people and other racial groups because of the colour of their skin.

It is surely right that we all take time to reflect on what this means for society and consider a better future. If our eyes are now opened to see the world from a different perspective and if that's unsettling and not an image or experience we recognise, then it's an opportunity for each of us to examine our behaviours, test our values and reapraise our society, knowing what we now know. If, on th eother hand, we identify with recent events from personal experience, then it's a time for solidarity with those who seek equality and a fair and just society.

As a Christian, as a human, I deplore all forms of discrimination and prejudice. And I ask forgiveness for those time when I inadvertently fail to live up to my own expectations.

As a Church we also recognise that we are shaped and influenced by the world around us and none of us is perfect. We daily repent of those shortcommings, failures, imperfections or sins. The Anglican Church accepts and we have to accept, that through history our nation, even our church, has sometimes done wrong or failed to stand up for what is right. However, we take comfort in the forgiving nature of God which affords us a second chance and an opportunity to put things right.

We are called to love our neighbours as ourselves. Yet we cannot presume to know - pre judge - the experiences of another. Only through listening and dialogue and knowing them as we know ourselves can we better understand our fellow human beings. Then we can truly love one another, as God loves us.

I call upon all Christians everywhere to work together to build a better world as the Kingdom of Heaven here on earth; where all that divides us is put away. We must be an inclusive Church and an inclusive society. One of our five marks of mission includes the transformation of unjust structures of society, challenging violence of every kind, and the persuit of peace and reconciliation. So let us persue all that makes for peace and builds up our common life.

The paeace of the Lord be always with you.

Revd James Sawyer

Follow this link to the St Albans Dioces website to see how other churches have responded.

See also the Church Times

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