In this edition
We commemorate two significant anniversaries: the second anniversary of the publication of From Lament to Action (the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce report, which called for action on racial justice within the Church of England), and the 30th anniversary of the death of Stephen Lawrence.
- Daniel Odhiambo, in his article ‘The church is not called to race or colour blindness’, challenges the notion of colour blindness in matters of racial diversity and church leadership. Drawing from biblical examples, Daniel argues that racial identity does matter and that the early church serves as an example of embracing diversity in leadership. His thought-provoking piece encourages us to envision church leadership that reflects the diversity of its congregation.
- John Root, widely recognised as the father of intercultural mission in the Church of England, contributes three articles. In his first, ‘Symptoms of institutional racism in the Church of England’, John emphasises the need not just to acknowledge but to thoroughly diagnose the church’s institutional racism. He outlines various symptoms, including what he describes as ‘wilful apathy’ among church authorities. He proposes potential remedies for this deep-seated issue.
In his second article, ‘The church can provide an appropriate intercultural worship service’, John suggests five possible avenues for creating a church service that resonates culturally and professionally with diverse congregations.
In his third article, John offers his perspective on the differing attention given to Windrush 75 and Windrush 50. He attributes this to the increasing ethnic diversity and improved harmony witnessed over the past 25 years.
- Lara Deen, the Intercultural Ministry Enabler at St Paul’s, Slough, contributes additional paragraphs to John’s third article. She looks to the future optimistically and hopes that race concerns will diminish as we continue a positive trajectory.
- Guy Hewitt, the Church of England’s Director of Racial Justice, contributes a powerful piece titled ‘Cleansing racism through truth-telling and reconciliation’. Guy delves into the historical context of England, particularly during colonialism, and highlights the church’s role in perpetuating domination and a singular Anglo-Saxon imprint on matters of faith and worship. He explores how embracing equality, diversity, and inclusion can lead to new opportunities for intercultural mission and community building within the church.
- Isaac Charles Bortey Borquaye, also known as Guvna B, an award-winning Christian artist of Ghanaian heritage, reflects on the 30th anniversary of Stephen Lawrence’s murder. In this article he acknowledges some progress regarding racial justice in the church and in society, but notes there is still a long way to go to achieve true equality.
- Tim Wambunya, the General Editor of the journal, concludes this issue with his article, ‘God’s heart for all nations: fostering inclusion, bridging divides, growing understanding’. Tim explores the biblical foundation for intercultural mission, emphasising the fundamental principles that guide and inspire individuals, communities, and institutions in this vital work. He underscores the significance of racial justice in intercultural mission and advocates for building bridges and cultivating cultural awareness to foster genuine understanding and inclusion.