“Our rich ethnic diversity in this Diocese is God’s gift and blessing which we celebrate. I am greatly encouraged that the Diocesan Synod voted unanimously to endorse the Anti-Racism Charter which we are committed to implementing fully. There is no place for racist attitudes and behaviours in this Diocese. The Charter will guide us as we journey forwards in faith, hope and love for the people of South London and East Surrey.”
The Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun
On 13 March 2021, the Diocese of Southwark’s Diocesan Synod voted unanimously to approve the Anti-Racism Charter, following a discussion led by The Venerable Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Archdeacon of Croydon and Diocesan Lead on Anti-Racism.
The Charter is active and intentional. It says: “being anti-racist is not the same as simply not being racist. It is not enough as a Diocese not to be racist; instead we must actively counter, disrupt and oppose racial injustice. This isn’t an easy task, it takes introspection, as well as continued intentional action and is not a static description of ourselves.”
The key principles of Southwark’s Anti-Racism 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.
As well as its three key principles, the ARC includes six Diocesan commitments and a 12-point action plan for leadership and development.