The role of the Racial Justice Committee (formerly the Minority Ethnic Anglican Concern Committee) is to ensure that equality of opportunity is fully reflected in and forms an integral part of all structures and processes within Southwark Diocese, and that the concerns regarding racial justice are addressed.
The committee acts on two levels; the Diocesan Racial Justice Committee (RJC) chaired by the Bishop of Southwark, also includes the Bishop of Woolwich, the Bishop of Croydon, the Diocesan Secretary, Heads of Departments and Area Racial Justice Group Chairs as members and meets three times a year. The Area Racial Justice Groups usually meet monthly, and are integrated in their Episcopal Areas.
The RJC advises the Bishop's Council, which is part of the Diocesan Council of Trustees.
Southwark Vision (2017-2025) was launched in 2017 and one of the strategic goals is ‘by 2025 to grow leadership and representation that reflects the rich diversity of our Diocese and especially focusing where the data suggests groups are underrepresented; through ethnicity…(et al)’.
The RJC organises annual events, including the Southwark Diocese Black History Month Event, to which all are invited.
Members of RJC can advise and speak on a wide range of issues in race relations such as: Black history and culture; the Gospel, race and culture; Black youth and the church; equal opportunities; cultural awareness.
Diocese of Southwark's Anti-Racism Charter
The Diocese of Southwark’s Anti-Racism Charter was approved by Diocesan Synod on 13 March 2021.
The key principles of the Charter are:
- an explicit theological understanding that God’s kingdom is multi-ethnic, and that it is through our baptismal covenant that we recognise and respect the dignity of every human being and our unity in Christ
- an intentional focus in our theological studies, liturgy, teaching, prayer, word and work to take strategic and practical actions to combat racism and inequality
- a clear strategy for increasing and sustaining diversity in our governance structures at Diocesan and parish level so as to ensure representation and participation of people from diverse ethnic backgrounds at all levels of our organisation.
What does RJC do?
RJC’s roles include:
- Working with all levels of the Diocesan and Parish structure to bring about increased opportunities for participation and representation by minority ethnic Anglicans across the Diocese as a whole
- Promoting racial justice concerns
- Monitoring the level of participation of minority ethnic communities in Diocesan life for review and action by the appropriate decision-making bodies
- Circulating information on racism/racial justice and other subjects helpful to the education of church members in the Diocese.
How can RJC help parishes?
RJC helps parishes by:
- providing training to clergy and PCCs on racial and cultural awareness
- supporting vocations roadshows to encourage black and minority ethnic members to offer themselves for the church’s accredited ministries
- organising its members and others to undertake preaching engagements which aim to promote greater racial inclusiveness in the life of parishes
- organising events to help give black and minority ethnic members of the congregations within the Diocese a voice in structures and organisation of the Diocese
- running workshops to foster the knowledge, skills and attitudes that give members the confidence to participate in public meetings
- providing advice on all matters relating to race and ethnicity in the church.
You can download The World in a Diocese, the report of an independent review of the Diocesan Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns Committee.
The following can be contacted for information concerning RJC events:
Rachel Smith, Secretary to the Committee
The following Convenors can be contacted for information concerning area Racial Justice Group events:
|Revd John Pritchard||Revd Cordella Dawson|
|Revd Olufunke (Funke) Ogbede||Michael Philips|
|Revd Stanley Njoka||Revd Patrick Eggleston|