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Church of England appoints independent agency to investigate racist incidents


Race Equality First has been appointed to review the Church of England’s systems for handling racist incidents.

The independent agency will assess the effectiveness of current policies and procedures. Although it won’t resolve specific complaints, it will provide confidential counselling and independent advice.

Improving complaints handling was a key recommendation in the 2020 report ‘From Lament to Action: The Report of the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce’.

Guy Hewitt, the Church’s director of racial justice said the report “highlighted this issue as one of its priorities” and emphasised that addressing it is crucial “to show there is transparency and accountability in the process”.

Members of the Global Majority Heritage (GMH) / UK Minoritised Ethnic (UKME) communities who have experienced racism or those in the wider Church community who have knowledge of such, are encouraged to contact Race Equality First.

“Sadly, anecdotal evidence suggested that such occurrences are more common than appreciated,” Guy Hewitt, he Church’s director of racial justice continued.

“For our GMH/UKME communities, being stereotyped, overlooked, or excluded, or facing harassment, hostile comments or microaggression are an all-too-common experience. Leaving such behaviours unchallenged or brushed under the carpet is seriously damaging both to individuals and our faith community.”

Race Equality First is part the Race Equality Foundation, a national charity addressing racial inequality in public services.