Thinking Anglicans

Church Commissioners and historic links to transatlantic chattel slavery

The Church Commissioners have published their full report into historic links that Queen Anne’s Bounty (one of the Commissioners’ predecessors) had to transatlantic chattel slavery*. It can be found here: Church Commissioners Links to Historic Transatlantic Slavery. There is this accompanying press release

Church Commissioners publishes full report into historic links to transatlantic chattel slavery and announces new funding commitment of £100m in response to findings

which starts

The report follows an interim announcement in June 2022, which reported for the first time, and with great dismay, that the Church Commissioners’ endowment had historic links to transatlantic chattel slavery. The endowment traces its origins partly to Queen Anne’s Bounty, a fund established in 1704.

In response to the findings, the Church Commissioners’ Board has committed itself to trying to address some of the past wrongs by investing in a better future. It will seek to do this through committing £100 million of funding, delivered over the next nine years commencing in 2023, to a programme of investment, research and engagement…

* ‘Chattel slavery’ is the enslaving and owning of human beings and their offspring as property, able to be bought, sold, and forced to work without wages. This is distinguished from other systems of forced, unpaid, or low-wage labour also considered to be slavery.

There is also a press release about a related exhibition at Lambeth Palace Library.

Archives revealing Church of England’s links to historic transatlantic slavery to be displayed in new Lambeth Palace Library exhibition

The report has attracted much press attention.

Church Times Church Commissioners to set aside £100 million to compensate for slave-trade links
The Guardian C of E setting up £100m fund to ‘address past wrongs’ of slave trade links
The Guardian C of E’s historic slavery fund – worth £100m but how far will it stretch across communities?
Third Sector Charity’s £100m promise to address ‘shameful’ slave trade links
BBC News Church of England announces £100m fund after slavery links
The Telegraph Justin Welby defends £100m fund to ‘address past wrongs of slavery’ as churches struggle