Church of England Begins BLM-Style Review of Thousands of Monuments for References to Slave Trade

All 311 panels of the window, which is the country's largest single expanse of medieval st
OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

The Anglican Church will embark upon a review of thousands of historical monuments which reference the British Empire or the slave trade, as the Church continues with its Black Lives Matter-inspired agenda.

The Church of England, which campaigned for the abolition of slavery since the early 1800s, is set to issue guidance this week to its 12,500 parishes and 42 cathedrals, calling for a review of supposedly problematic monuments.

Monuments or plaques with so-called contested heritage could be contextualised, altered, relocated, or even removed. Some could be left untouched, but the author of the review said that local church leaders would not be able to ignore the programme.

Speaking to the left-wing Observer, the author of the guidance and director of the Church of England’s churches and cathedrals, Becky Clark, said: “Our church buildings and cathedrals are the most visible part of the C of E, a Christian presence in every community. The responsibility to ensure they include, welcome and provide safe spaces for all is a vitally important part of addressing the way historic racism and slavery still impacts people today.”

Clark argued that the guidance, which will be left up to local parishes to interpret as to whether the artefacts warrant removal or merely to be contextualised, seeks to “empower rather than shut down conversation”.

“It doesn’t make political statements, except to say the history of racism and slavery is undeniable, as is the fact that racism and the legacy of slavery are still part of many people’s lives today. Responding to those in the right way is a Christian duty. Doing nothing is not an option. There has to be engagement with this,” she said.

“The job of local parishes is to figure out how this impacts our communities today. Are there people who feel this church is not for them because of the built heritage, and what can we do about it?” she said.

Clark did admit that alongside monuments which “celebrate or valorise those involved in the slave trade”, others were also constructed as “simple memorials to somebody who was loved by their family”.

Some churches and cathedrals have already embarked on the iconoclastic push, with Bristol Cathedral removing a window dedicated to British philanthropist Sir Edward Colston, who infamously had his statue torn down by leftist radicals last June for his involvement in the slave trade.

St Peter’s church in Dorchester has covered up a plaque that honoured a plantation owner who suppressed a slave rebellion, with a notice on the covering saying that the memorial “commemorates actions and uses language which are totally unacceptable to us today”. The plaque is ultimately pending removal and will be offered to a museum.

The archbishops of Canterbury and York established what the Observer described as an “anti-racism task force” in April, which will look to address historical involvement in the slave trade.

“We do not want to unconditionally celebrate or commemorate people who contributed to or benefited from the tragedy that was the slave trade,” the task force said.

While the CoE apologised in 2006 for their historic role in the slave trade, Church leaders took it upon themselves to issue a second apology last year during the height of Black Lives Matter protests in Britain.

Amid the resurgent BLM movement, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby wasted no time in bowing to the mob and admitting and apologising for coming “from privilege and a place of power as a white person in this country”.

The Archbishop went on to declare that there “is no doubt when we look at our own Church that we are still deeply institutionally racist. Let’s just be clear about that.”

Under the stewardship of Archbishop Welby, the Church of England has increasingly taken a woke turn, with the leader of the Anglican church declaring that the UK should “welcome” mass migration and stunningly pronounced that God is gender-neutral.

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka


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