In 2023, churches across the diocese celebrated Black History Month from Sunday 1 October to Tuesday 31 October with events, services, exhibitions and more.
Resolved to Serve
A Diocese of Oxford-commissioned portrait and video exhibition celebrating black culture and its influence in the Church today. Featuring black African and Caribbean clergy in the Diocese of Oxford telling their inspiring stories of faith and resilience. Resolved to Solve was exhibited at University Church, Oxford, throughout Black History Month and through to 15 December. If you didn't have a chance to visit the exhibition, you can watch the interviews now on YouTube.
Collect for Black History Month
who sent Jesus Christ to deliver us from all manner of injustices and inequalities,
create in us new hearts and enlarged visions,
to see the image of God in every person,
irrespective of background, race and ethnicity.
May we be generous in our love of others
as we work towards ending misunderstandings, racism and injustice, creating communities of human flourishing,
through Jesus Christ your son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever
Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions
You are welcome to email questions relating to racial justice and racial bias if you are unable to find the answers. We aim to reply within 14 days.
United Kingdom Minority Ethic.
The Church of England uses this and GMH (Global Majority Heritage) to describe minority communities in the UK.
Their nameThere are very few occasions when we need to refer to someone by their ethnicity. We can all be described by the clothes we are wearing or where we are sitting for example. Think about why you need to refer to a person’s race, colour, ethnicity or religion before you do so.
The Windrush Generation were turned away by the Anglican and other churches.
When people came in from 1948 onwards from the Caribbean, they were invited by the British government. They were British subjects who were needed to rebuild Britain after the devastation of World War 2. Many British residents moved away due to the state of the country, to start a new life. This left a shortage of labour. Many came to the UK as Anglicans. Unfortunately, they were not welcomed in the churches and therefore developed their own churches.
Try asking them directly.
It may be that their life experience has been one of rejection for so long that they think you don't mean them. That they are not included. A conversation with individuals can make a huge difference.
Have a quiet word with them.
If you are genuinely finding it difficult to understand someone because of their accent. It is OK to have a word them and explain that you are finding it difficult. Be kind. It is not a fault. Engaging in a conversation with them can be fruitful. Together you might agree for example that it would help if the minister slows their speech down a little.
New film for Black History Month 2023
'After the Flood' is a new film that looks at the roots of church involvement in the Transatlantic Slave Trade and legacies, from instituting white supremacy, to the admission of racism today. It explores how the church has faced its slave past and made positive change, and ask what Christian reconciliation might look like today.
Liturgical resources for Black History Month
A series of resources from the Church of England are designed for use during Black History Month including Services of the Word, a Eucharistic Service, and Prayers of Lament and Commission.
Stick with Love
The Archbishop of York's 2023 book for Advent, 'Stick with Love' is a global call for rejoicing in every tribe, every tongue and every nation. The book is written by Bishop Arun and takes its name from a reflection by Martin Luther King, who famously declared “I must stick with love… hate is too great a burden to bear”
During Black History Month, it's a timely reminder of the stories of exclusion and alienation felt by some Christians, and raises issues of belonging and identity for all of those who together form the body of Christ.
Race Equality Week
You might like to also check out our resources for Race Equality Week 2023 - discussion prompts for use in schools and an update on our diocesan pledges.