Thinking Anglicans

Reparatory Justice: Oversight Group recommendations

Updated Tuesday

The Fund for Healing, Repair and Justice describes itself this way:

A seed for growth and change

In 2023, the Church Commissioners for England published a report into its historic links to African chattel enslavement. In penitence and hope, the Church Commissioners proposed a fund to address a legacy of racialised inequality that scars the lives of billions to this day.

The Church Commissioners appointed an independent Oversight Group to make their recommendations on how the fund should be used. This group is acutely aware that the crimes against humanity rooted in enslavement have caused damage so vast it will require patient effort spanning generations to address. They believe this fund represents a start to breaking the chains of discrimination.

The Oversight Group has a bold vision for the £100m Fund for Healing, Repair and Justice which they would like to see grow to £1bn and act as a catalyst for real change.

Other recent documents about this:

Church Times: Church Commissioners look for partners to boost reparatory-justice fund to £1 billion

Updates

Guardian Harriet Sherwood ‘It’s not a lot when you consider the harm’: Why bishop is calling for £1bn in C of E reparations for slavery (Interview with the Bishop of Croydon)

Archbishop of York We need a conversation about justice (Article in the Sunday Times)

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William
William
4 months ago

This really is a very unwise move on the part of the Church of England. I think the bishops are going to discover just how expensive virtue signalling can get. No amount of money will ever be enough.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  William
4 months ago

Welby is proving to be an extremely expensive archbishop – arguably the most expensive since the ‘forced exchanges’ of the 16th century.

Jonathan Jamal
Jonathan Jamal
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Has it reached the point Froghole, where Archbishop Welby has now become a liability as well as an embarrassment for the C of E, and it is now time he seriously considered his position and called it a day? Jonathan

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  William
4 months ago

Of course no amount of money will be enough. But that does not mean we should passively keep the money we have so we can continue to enjoy the privileges of having it. Those at whose expense it was earned have not had the money, nor the chance to use it. Many of them have been part of communities which have been under-resourced financially for many decades – even hundreds of years. If £100m amounts only to “virtue signalling” it is insufficient and should be increased. There is no moral case for virtue signalling. What the Commissioners said to General… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Mark Bennet
4 months ago

Indeed, but I think there needs to be a greater degree of understanding of the predicates upon which the £1bn calculation has been made. The Brattle report is claiming that the UK needs to pay some £19 trillion in reparations. By contrast, the total capital stock of the UK is only £11.4 trillion (https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/uksectoraccounts/bulletins/thenationalbalancesheetandcapitalstockspreliminaryestimatesuk/2022#:~:text=1.-,Main%20points,growth%20between%202010%20and%202021.). It is entirely possible that the profits of the UK generated from chattel slavery and the profound suffering of those who perished from, or who survived, the Atlantic slave trade are worth more than £11.4 trillion. However, even if that is the case, it has to… Read more »

Chris Carter
Chris Carter
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

“Barbados PM says country owed $4.9tn as she makes fresh call for reparations”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/dec/06/barbados-pm-says-country-owed-49tn-as-she-makes-fresh-call-for-reparations#:~:text=Mia%20Mottley%20said%20Barbados%20was,she%20said%20on%20Wednesday%20evening.
No wonder The King is laughing.
That’s $16m per head of population.
These kinds of numbers are clearly complete nonsense.
The CofE is simply making a fool of itself. Again.

Last edited 4 months ago by Chris Carter
William
William
Reply to  Mark Bennet
4 months ago

Do you not realise that all money is compromised? Even the money in your own bank account. Jesus described it as ‘tainted’. See Luke 16:11.

Mark Bennet
Mark Bennet
Reply to  William
4 months ago

Indeed – but I was pointing to a different issue. A passive acceptance of the status quo by those who have money is problematic, as your citation suggests. The issue is to move from passive acceptance to … well what?

Shamus
Shamus
4 months ago

Does anyone know whether The Commissioners have also “warmly welcomed” the General Synod vote about chipping in to improve clergy pensions?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Shamus
4 months ago

It is not just clergy pensions but the most recent rise in stipends (https://www.clergysupport.org.uk/news-post/national-minimum-stipend-increased#:~:text=On%20Wednesday%207%20February%202024,%C2%A326%2C134%20to%20%C2%A328%2C670.). It was assumed, at least from the tenor of the discussion associated with Dr Paul’s motion, that the Commissioners would contribute to the effective decline in pension provision since the reforms of 2007 and 2011 which reduced benefits. However, is this really likely, given that Synod terminated the Commissioners’ responsibility for prospective accruals from 1 January 1998? Is it not much more likely that the increased stipend and any improvement in pension benefits will fall upon parish share, either in whole or in part? Is it… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
4 months ago

Thank you. I also noted these, several of which are behind paywalls: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/04/church-of-england-told-to-boost-size-of-fund-to-address-legacy-of-slavery, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2024/mar/05/1bn-to-heal-c-of-es-historic-slavery-links-is-not-enough-black-faith-leaders-say, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/church-of-england-told-to-build-1bn-slavery-reparations-fund-p5dwvvxtj, https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/church-is-digging-itself-into-a-hole-on-slavery-reparations-rhjxz2w8h, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/03/04/church-england-told-raise-1bn-slavery-fund-wealthy-donors/, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/03/06/church-of-england-slavery-fund-restore-parish-services/, https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/03/09/church-of-england-billion-reparations-slavery/, https://www.ft.com/content/6213e9f2-ee1d-4591-bf59-ba535bb1f185 and https://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/world-news/20240304/church-england-aims-raise-more-1-billion-address-its-past-links-slavery (the same text appeared in the Barbados Advocate, which is effectively the Bajan paper of record). The responses are mostly predictable. The SPG plantation was long well known, as was the investment of QAB in South Sea stock. In truth, the Church was never more than a very minor player indeed in chattel slavery. However, the prime mover in the reparations movement made considerable play of the Church’s involvement a decade ago: https://www.uwipress.com/9789766402686/britains-black-debt/. This was the book which… Read more »

Chris Carter
Chris Carter
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

These ridiculous claims will never be effected.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
4 months ago

… and reparations/ compensation/ recognition/ redress for victims/ survivors of abuse by CofE clergy and ‘systems failures’??

Dave
Dave
4 months ago

I have to say I think this is unwise and needs to be fully thought out.
The Church Commissioners will have had links with tobacco manufacturers leading to early death in many… As Willaim remarks no amount of money will be enough.

Personally I would prefer to see large investment in, or donations to, work to prevent modern slavery.

Simon L
Simon L
Reply to  Dave
4 months ago

Or equally, to invest in parishes and mission initiatives that have predominantly or potentially majority Black congregations, to atone for the less than fulsome welcome many of the Windrush generation received at CofE churches when they arrived. I think this an extremely unwise precedent. Well untended but classic virtue signalling that leaves no one at ease. It’s also dodgy or at best incomplete history. Ian Paul puts a strong case here…
https://www.psephizo.com/life-ministry/should-the-church-generate-a-1-billion-fund-for-slavery-reparations/

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Dave
4 months ago

Also, of course, links with tea, coffee and sugar manufacturers, whose source plantations were not exactly models of fairness and equality. Or, for that matter, any church income from privately owned collieries, steel works, cotton mills and other industrial enterprises of the 18th and 19th centuries, where working conditions and treatment of their own countrymen were often inhumane. Once you start this game, where do you finish?

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  John Davies
4 months ago

I would imagine that Victoria Atkins, the current Secretary of State for Health, has a healthy discussion with the current managing Director of British Sugar, her husband, about reparations over their breakfast ‘Frosties’.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  God 'elp us all
4 months ago

Sadly, comrade. your snippet does not surprise me. I’m a retired civil servant, remember. As Isaiah said, we dwell in a nation of unclean lips – and hands.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  God 'elp us all
4 months ago

That does not surprise me in the slightest.

rural liberal
rural liberal
Reply to  God 'elp us all
4 months ago

British Sugar is and has always been the company that processes sugar from sugar beet grown in the UK… so fairly plantation free as far as it goes…

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  rural liberal
4 months ago

How true. While providing jobs and economic benefit for British Beet growers, I imagine they have made some contribution to and derived some benefit from the promotion of the UK and world markets in the largely unnecessary ‘sweet tooth’, and the concomitant tooth decay and related dentistry and their cost especially to poor people. Maybe not?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  rural liberal
4 months ago

Yes, I suppose that Tate & Lyle would have been the better target: they long eschewed beet sugar, preferring only cane sugar from the Caribbean.

God 'elp us all
God 'elp us all
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Thank you as ever Froghole. I note from that post-modern ‘bible’ Wikipedia that Tate & Lyle divested itself of its interest in sugar refining in 2010. The ‘brand’ lives on (whether or not with any inherited ‘liabilities’ I know not), and I see this encomium on the website of Viking the office supply people: ‘Ideal in the office or home, this large pack of Tate & Lyle sugar lets you make tea or coffee just the way you like it. Ensure that all of your colleagues and clients can enjoy tea and coffee just the way they like them with… Read more »

Peter
Peter
4 months ago

The mining communities of this country who were brutalised and exploited by predatory capitalism over three hundred years will draw the obvious conclusions regarding the Church of England

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

Bravo, Peter – I’ve just said the same sort of thing. My ancestors were pitmen. Not just the pits either….. the dark satanic mills with their truck or ‘tommy’ shops, or the slate quarries of North Wales. The Pennards of Penrhyn Castle made a fortune, first out of slave plantations and then out of slate – and by treating the workers in the quarries little better than those in Jamaica. (And, so I’m told, many of their descendants still refuse to visit their fake castle, now owned by the National Trust.) His cruelty still divides communities and families around there.… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  John Davies
4 months ago

My ancestors were Irish immigrants who worked in the cotton industry. Further back the Irish were enslaved by the English and taken on ships to West Indies.

They were portrayed as gorillas in cartoons with the name “g oreilly”

Their skin colour means, of course, their murder and enslavement has been re-written and erased from history.

They were also catholic so the Church of England is happy to turn a blind eye to their brutal extermination

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

For all I know, Peter, I could have Irish blood intermingled with my Welsh DNA – my late father’s family came from up in Flintshire, with kin on the Wirral, which makes that a strong possibility. And, interestingly, my mother’s family name, although very much based in central Staffordshire, was Shelley, which I understand to have Irish connections. As for history, I know enough of Irish history to know exactly what you’re describing. The longer I live, and the more I learn, the less time, patience or respect I seem able to have for the ruling ‘class’ of my own… Read more »

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  John Davies
4 months ago

Many thanks. Just a word on the Douglas-Pennants. Gifford Pennant was a soldier of fortune from Flintshire who participated in the Cromwellian conquest of Jamaica (1655), and came to establish a substantial estate in Clarendon and Westmoreland parishes. This was expanded by his son Edward, not least through his marriage in 1734 into the Hodges family, which brought further estates in St Elizabeth’s parish. Thus, by the middle of the 18th century the estate was about 10,000 acres in total, and about the largest in the colony. Edward’s son, Richard, did express concern about the welfare of his 1,000 or… Read more »

Simon L
Simon L
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

As a footnote, one might add that much of their holdings after 1949 went to the National Trust ownership and thus into the quasi-public sector. Why? To pay off death duties which David Lloyd George had a significant role in expanding. History can sometimes deliver an element of justice albeit delayed and indirect I guess!

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Simon L
4 months ago

Your reference to LG is indeed apt, as he was MP of the neighbouring constituency (Carnarvon Boroughs). In 1897 he had a run in with Lord Penrhyn over the Voluntary Schools bill. Later that year he played an active role over the Bethseda quarry dispute and helped raise the fund for the quarrymen. He also provided them with legal advice (he was a solicitor, as you may know). During the second strike (1900-03) he gave further advice, and also recommended that the government assume control of the quarries. However, he has since been criticised for espousing the cause of the… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Thanks for that, Froghole. This is the sort of detailed background information which is usually skimmed over in books about the Penrhyn Quarry railways, by folks like J C Boyd. They concentrate on the more immediate and interesting stuff – usually steam powered.

As I’ve said to Peter, the more I learn of the English ruling classes, I’m afraid the less time I have for any of them. As Malcolm Muggeridge (I think) once said, if any of them ever got into heaven it would be by a very circuitous route.

Chris Carter
Chris Carter
Reply to  John Davies
4 months ago

Neither capitalism or communism have a very good track record when it comes to human rights”
LOL
“Predatory capitalism”
Well you’re going to have to define “predatory” but capitalism/market forces/globalisation have worked consistently to reduce global poverty to its lowest ever level.
https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/the-share-and-number-of-people-living-in-extreme-poverty

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Chris Carter
4 months ago

If you do not know the meaning of the term predatory capitalism you need to spend time with the working classes.

The mining community would be a good place for you to start to educate yourself.

Francis James
Francis James
4 months ago

It is interesting that we have an ABC from the evangelical wing who is so historically uneducated that he appears totally unaware that a major reason for the effectiveness of the Royal Navy’s anti-slavery campaigns (including the far less well known East-African trade with Arabia) was that so many of the officers & sailors concerned were driven by evangelical religious zeal, thus were entirely undeterred by the unhealthy climate, serious casualty rate, and highly obstructive British legal system This zeal stemmed from a cadre of highly influential Evangelical officers, known as the ‘Blue Lights’, who ensured that the Royal Navy… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Francis James
4 months ago

I’ve heard of the ‘Blue Lights’ who got a mention in a Victorian ‘second coming’ story I once read, but it didn’t say who they were. Thanks for the explanation.

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  John Davies
4 months ago

This is the best recent study, written by an erstwhile naval officer (lately deceased): https://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/opposing-the-slavers-9781788312868/, but this is also excellent on the religion of the fleet: https://boydellandbrewer.com/9781843833598/evangelicals-in-the-royal-navy-1775-1815/. The list of devout naval officers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries is a long one: Gambier (and his sons), Exmouth (Pellew), Sausmarez, Pearson, Austen, King Hall, Sulivan, Peel, Parry, Franklin, Richardson, Owen, Clark Ross, etc. Not all were evangelical: Lord Clarence Paget was an ardent high churchman, but they were overwhelmingly evangelical, and this was despite the Admiralty tending to deprecate ardent enthusiasm. That said, evangelicalism in the military could… Read more »

Francis James
Francis James
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

Froghole – thank you for providing those links. I should point out that evangelical officers in the navy built on the divisional system & involved themselves ‘whole ship’, whereas army officers such as Nicholson were individualists who set an example, but lacked the communal involvement with ‘other ranks’.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
4 months ago

My criticism of this project matches my criticism of much British discourse on colonialism. It is viewed through the lens of slavery and no other lens. Yet colonialism had many other appalling effects. Not just slavery, but theft (of land wealth and cultural artefacts), disease, and genocide (both actual and cultural). For example church run mission schools in Canada, Australia, the Pacific Islands and elsewhere forcibly took children from indigenous families to give them a “Christian” education. Such education was often mandated by the state but outsourced to the church. Many such schools projects ran right through until the late… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Simon Dawson
Mark
Mark
Reply to  Simon Dawson
4 months ago

Oh dear, Simon, the white guilt trip is a very dreary, as well as historically inaccurate, trope.

Simon Dawson
Simon Dawson
Reply to  Mark
4 months ago

Thanks Mark.

What is historically inaccurate in my post please?

And within a Christian context ( which I assume Thinking Anglicans is), what is “dreary” about acknowledging fault and seeking to make amends?

Best wishes

Last edited 4 months ago by Simon Dawson
Peter
Peter
Reply to  Simon Dawson
4 months ago

Your historical inaccuracy is your omission of Irish history.

50% of the Irish population disappeared in the nineteenth century. Let me repeat that figure for you. 50%

That is two million human beings. They were made in the image of God – just like you.

There is only one reason they have been erased from your version of history.

They had the wrong skin colour

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter
Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Mark
4 months ago

‘White guilt trip’????? I have many friends who are the children and grandchildren of ‘Indian’ residential schools survivors here in Canada. And I also know older people who are survivors themselves. I have sat with them and heard their stories. In indigenous communities across this country, children were forcibly removed from their homes and taken to residential schools hundreds of miles away. They were required to cut their hair and wear white people’s clothes. They were forbidden from speaking their own languages and practising their own ceremonies. Many of them were abused physically and sexually. The stated purpose of the… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

Tim,

You describe a grievous part of Canadian history. What has that got to do with the Church of England’s use of its current vast wealth.

And why is the Church of England not addressing historic English barbarism in Ireland. Or the exploitation and brutalisation of the white working classes. Or the other instances around the world or cruelty and explotation. Why are they not calling for reparations from the Norwegians ?

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

Sorry I have to join up the dots here. Please read the whole thread. Simon’s reply set the slavery issue in the context of the entire legacy of colonialism (a very valid point, I think), and he specifically alluded to residential schools. Mark’s response was to refer to Simon’s post as a ‘white guilt trip’, and as far as I could tell, that included Simon’s comments about residential schools – if that was not the case, then Mark should have made it more clear. It is also relevant because our church was successfully sued by many residential schools survivors and… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Tim Chesterton
Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

I cannot believe your final comment. Two million Irish people disappeared in the nineteenth century. That is 50% of the population. Women and children were thrown over the side of the deportation ships when it was clear they were going to die of malnutrition.

You response to this barbarism towards my ancestors is to make an issue of the fact I am white.

So what Tim ? The people thrown over the side of those ships may have been white. They were also human beings made in the image of God.

Try to remember that

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter
Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

Nine tenths of the indigenous population of north America was wiped out by its contact with European settlers. Nine tenths. A 2018 study concluded that an estimated 55 million indigenous people died following the European conquest of the Americas beginning in 1492. They were human beings made in the image of God, Please try to remember that.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

You made an issue of the colour of my skin. You had no right to do so

You need to own your mistake.

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

A tiny elite were responsible for colonising decisions. An equally tiny elite were the beneficiaries. The notion that all white people are implicated and all white people were beneficiaries is historically absurd. The vast majority of the population of England lived short lives in a level of poverty that would be unbearable to us. This collectivisation of the decisions of the elite is completely divorced from reality. And can I just pre empt the generalisation claim. It is pure assertion to claim that all the white English must have benefited therefore all the white English must be culpable. That is… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter
T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

And also, Peter, try to remember that the Spanish were Roman Catholics. Doesn’t fit with your sectarian worldview, does it?

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

So-called ‘native policy’ in the middle decades of the 20th century was essentially assimilationist in Australia as well as in Canada. This was not intended as ‘genocide’ but as ‘progressive’. In Australia much of it occurred under the watch of Paul Hasluck, who as a journalist in WA had undertaken a thorough survey of the Nyungar peoples in the late 1920s and 1930s, which was written up into an influential monograph, ‘Black Australians’ (1942). The book was a call for a reversion to the policies of colonial governments in the 1830s and 1840s, which encouraged the Christianisation of aboriginal peoples… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

Indeed – many years ago I read in a book on American western history that 19th century ‘Christian missionaries’ to the indigenous Plains tribes deliberately encouraged drunkenness and alcohol addiction as a way of breaking their robust independent nature. And we are Christ’s ‘light to the world’?

Ironically, when Sitting Bull’s Cheyenne made a break for freedom (see John Ford’s great film, Cheyenne Autumn) they headed for Canada, believing that the First Nationals were better treated there.

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

I wasn’t talking about what happened in countries such as Canada or Australia, which have been independent for a long time, and where their own people can discuss such things as they wish. We are talking here about the C of E and England. The white guilt trip phrase is used to describe what a particular type of person in England is doing at the moment. They are white and (upper) middle class, read the Guardian, are probably metropolitan-based or -focused. You can easily predict their views on most topics – they will have been firmly against Brexit, for example,… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark
Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Mark
4 months ago

Mark, you replied to a comment from Simon setting slavery in the context of the whole history of colonialism. Simon specifically alluded to the residential schools as an example of this. Your response to his piece was to call it a ‘white guilt trip.’ If you were not intending that to be a comment on his entire piece, including the residential school story, then it was up to you to point that out. It is also relevant because our church was successfully sued by many residential schools survivors and their descendants, and one of our dioceses went bankrupt and had… Read more »

Mark
Mark
Reply to  Simon Dawson
4 months ago

People just did things differently in the past than we do today: it should be no surprise, yet the white guilt trip is predicated on the idea that white people behaved worse than anyone else in history, which is just not a fair or balanced lens through which to approach anything. It’s also a deeply unhealthy way to approach one’s own culture, I would suggest. It is a good, natural and healthy thing to have a respect for one’s cultural past, and everyone in the world, including us non-privileged white people, should have the right to feel their culture, identity… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Mark
Allan Sheath
Allan Sheath
Reply to  Simon Dawson
4 months ago

Simon, you mention theft of land, wealth and cultural artefacts; to which I would add the theft of the self-confidence of the colonised, the consequences of which remain with us. For example, UK politicians find it odd that their Indian counterparts can be prickly, when a little more self-knowledge and knowledge of our history might tell them why that is.  There is also the effects on the coloniser; again, these remain very much with us. In The Intimate Enemy: Loss and Recovery of Self Under Colonialism, Ashis Nandy proposes that the deeper and most negative impact of colonialism is ultimately… Read more »

Kate Keates
Kate Keates
4 months ago

Trying to make reparations for the awful suffering of slavery with £100m which won’t really be missed can never work. We see the same with survivors – what is the minimum the Church of England can pay to shut them up. In both cases it’s a wrong attitude. It’s a politically calculated gesture not a Christian response.

Susanna (no ‘h’)
Susanna (no ‘h’)
Reply to  Kate Keates
4 months ago

With survivors it isn’t even just the minimum to shut them up is it? It’s being awarded on the ‘jam tomorrow’ principle as well so that virtually no one will get even that minimum award anyway.
I totally agree about it not being a Christian response

Mark
Mark
4 months ago

This is a big mistake on the part of the church leadership. As Daniel Hannan points out in today’s Telegraph, how can anyone possibly weigh up and attribute relative blame retrospectively like this, centuries later? It’s a really daft idea to open up this debate, which will do nothing to promote integration and positive community feeling. Why would anyone want to give money to an organisation that is 1) so evidently ashamed of its past – that’s really not a selling point, you know, especially for a 2000 year old religion; or 2) ready to throw vast sums away without… Read more »

Peter
Peter
4 months ago

My ancestors were Irish Catholics who lived in poverty. They were exploited, killed, shipped across the Atlantic as “bonded servants” (a bit of historical revisionism to disguise the fact they were slaves) and subject to genocidal land clearance by the English. Massacres of Irish towns was a particular English favourite

The English and their Church gained huge financial rewards by this exploitation.

The people concerned had the wrong skin colour so Welby and his bishops walk by on the other side of the road.

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

I told you I have Welsh ancestry, Peter. Welsh speaking people historically were treated as fourth rate citizens, particularly in the 19th century through the school system. They possibly didn’t suffer organised, police backed clearances like the Scots, but an awful lot of them ended up in Patagonia……. and a few other places a long way from home. (I read somewhere that the very last landlord’s clearance in Scotland took place in the early years of the last century, and was enforced by a squad from – I think – the Glasgow police.) And you also had the ‘Tithe Wars’… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  John Davies
4 months ago

I should, to be clear, say I actually deplore the politics of grievance. It is divisive and unjust and benefits people who have no moral claim themselves to preferential treatment.

My point about the Irish, and your own point about the Welsh is that history is blood soaked and unfair.

It is madness to be allocating vast sums of money on the basis of an ideological re-write of history.

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

So your Irish Catholic ancestors could have been responsible for the Massacre of the Protestants in Portadown in 1641 then?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  T Pott
4 months ago

Why is it you feel able to make such an appalling statement in regard to Irish Catholics ?

Would you make such a comment in response to atrocities committed in Africa by the indigenous population ?

If you are not willing to do so, you condemn yourself

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

I am not aware of any attrocities committed by the “indigenous” population of Africa. You are the only one who is insinuating there even were any. I am not prepared to condemn something merely on your insinuations. You made the statement that “massacres of Irish towns was a particular English favourite”. Cromwell caused a great deal of trouble throughout the British Isles, not just in Drogheda. This is a grossly inflamatory attack by you. You presumably feel it is acceptable for you to to make such a sweeping statement about the English, but feel it is unacceptable for me to… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  T Pott
4 months ago

You are evidently unhappy with collective guilt.

Does that apply in all circumstances or does your view depend on the skin colour of the person calling out barbarism.

I look forward to your condemnation of the collective guilt claims made by the Church.

On your claim that no atrocities have ever been committed by Africans – such a claim does not bear serious examination. Africans are human beings.

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter
T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

I did not claim no attrocities have ever been committed by Africans – I said I was unaware of any. I am aware of attrocities committed by Irish Roman Catholics, and so are you. Yet you seem unconcerned about their Protestant victims. This is pure sectarian hatred and has nothing whatever to do with colour of skin. As for the Church of England it had no separate existence between 1801 and 1870, being united with the C of I as one body. As for your claim that 50% of the Irish population of 4,000,000 disappeared in the nineteenth century, people… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  T Pott
4 months ago

You know perfectly well that bonded servitude was a hideous abuse. If a person is crucified nobody debates the number of nails used as if that amounts to a mitigation. You are, in event, entirely missing the point. I am not remotely sectarian. The Church of England has adopted an incendiary and racist American ideology that will divide and destroy. The experience of the Irish people exemplifies the facile intellectual basis for the “whites need not apply” policy now at the heart of the mission of the Church of England. The same case can be made on the grounds of… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

Why pick on the Church of England? The Roman Catholic Church, including its Irish branch are not as innocent as you want to make out. This has nothing whatever to do with Slavs, Blacks, Roma, Jews or even, according to your response to Mr Froghole, Southern English. It is just Northerners, Irish or English, and Protestants in general that you seem to have a problem with. You refer to the “malevolence of the English” but then imply racism is a purely Northern problem. Have you never heard of racism in London? What about the malevolence of the Roman Catholic Church?… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  T Pott
4 months ago

What on earth are you talking about ? I’ve told you, I have no problem with anybody alive today.

My point is entirely straightforward. Racism is nothing to do with skin colour.

Please stop telling me what I am and am not saying.

Francis James
Francis James
4 months ago

From press reports today I see that Welby intends to cling on until he reaches clergy retirement age, which will be in Jan 2026. Oh Joy!

Simon Bravery
Simon Bravery
Reply to  Francis James
4 months ago

Doubtless speculation about his successor will start soon. I will resist the temptation to list my own preferences, which as I will not be on the CNC, are wholly irrelevant to the eventual choice anyway.

Rod Gillis
Rod Gillis
Reply to  Simon Bravery
4 months ago

Has already. The Anglican Journal thinks the time is now for a female ABC. (link). However one must consider the source of opining i.e. corporate p.r. as wish fulfillment. Whoever it is, good odds it will be the Wizard of Oz in a fiddle back chasuble. Speaking of odds, Pace Anglican Journal, bookies will have the real odds on favorite.

https://anglicanjournal.com/

Froghole
Froghole
4 months ago

One of the reasons why the debate has become so bad tempered is that the Commissioners have become victims of their own ‘success’ (often at the financial expense of the rest of the Church). The >£10bn held by the Commissioners has now become a juicy target for factions within the Church. We see one faction demanding that it cover increased pay and rations. Another which wants more investment in the parishes (this has led to an alliance between STP and parts of the evangelical faction). There is the odd person like me who thinks that it should provide a once-and-for-all… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

The argument is about the injustice of the racist allocation of money.

English atrocities in Ireland destroyed half the population of that country. The English and its Church owe reparation to the Irish – denied for one reason only. The colour of their skin

Froghole
Froghole
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

Given the enthusiastic reception by the Commissioners of the report by the Oversight Group, it must also be asked whether the proposed £1bn fund is not highly convenient for the Commissioners. As noted, the Commissioners’ success is now leading to many claims on their capital. What better means can there be for frustrating or forestalling those claims than asserting that this new fund must take priority. In this way the Commissioners get to lose a part of their capital perhaps in order to prevent their losing an even greater portion of their capital? Or is this too cynical an explanation?… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

My ancestors were Irish Catholics.

I am familiar with Irish history.

Your analysis will be useful to others who have no concept of the malevolence of the English towards others.

You will, I am sure, be aware of the notorious racist prohibition towards the Irish widely used in the North of England. “No dogs. No blacks. No Irish”.

The Church of England is no more anti racist than the people who refused to offer lodgings to the Irish.

The Church of England is consumed by the desire to appear virtuous in the eyes of others. That is all.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

Peter,, please keep a sense of perspective. In 1988-91 I was the minister in charge of a small Anglican church in the high Arctic. My kids were the only white kids in the school. Of course they were the victims of racism. I know they were, and it was hard for them. Eventually we took them out of the school and home schooled them. But perspective is important! Prince Rupert gave the Hudson’s Bay Company a royal charter to trade in all lands draining into Hudson’s Bay. Centuries later, the HBC sold that land to Canada. None of the money… Read more »

David Keen
David Keen
Reply to  Froghole
4 months ago

The debate may have also become bad tempered because of the timing of the report. To ‘welcome’ it so rapidly, the Archbishops must have had sight of it prior to publication – realistically, prior to General Synod. But publishing this report before Synod would invite scrutiny and the kind of questions raised on this thread and elsewhere. The timing and process effectively says to General Synod ‘we’re going to take decisions about £1bn of CofE assets without you’.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
4 months ago

The level of whataboutery here is quite extraordinary. I’d be the first person to agree that there are many injustices which will probably never be dealt with properly, and many responsible parties who will likely never he held to account (few people mention the Arab slave trade which was at least as damaging as the transatlantic). But debates about reparations are never about responsibility, blame, or (let’s be honest here!) historical facts. They’re about the parlous state of present-day communities who feel abused, neglected, and left out of a hopeful future. If the Church Commissioners’ actions make an important part… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Evan McWilliams
4 months ago

The deaths of millions of people is not “whataboutery”.

You need to listen, weep and learn – not parade ignorance

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

Forgive me. I simply meant to observe that the comments here feel to me little bit like a weaponisation of grievance creating creating a discourse in which the perfect is the enemy of the good. There are so many horrible injustices (the Plantation of Ulster among them– about which, incidentally, I know a great deal) but the fact that they haven’t been addressed shouldn’t stop us from being willing to consider compassionately the one that is currently being highlighted by the Commissioners. I would have thought better of the ‘Thinking Anglicans crowd’ than that there would be a dismissal of… Read more »

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Evan McWilliams
4 months ago

I am bewildered by your comment. This is not about “emotional needs” There are people in my congregation who have to go to food banks to feed their children. We have elderly people who cannot afford to heat their homes. We have children in school who have no hot meals outside of the school. We have children who wear clothes from jumble sales year after year. The Church of England has 100 million pounds to give away. The poor, the cold, the hungry and the lonely are to be ignored – unless they meet a set or slavery “reparations” criteria… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter
Peter
Peter
4 months ago

I would like to be clear I deplore grievance politics. Everything I have said regarding Irish history is correct and my ancestors suffered genocidal barbarism at the hands of the English. That belongs in the past. Nobody alive today is responsible for what was done. An official policy of “white applications will be automatically rejected” has been adopted by the Church of England in regarding to giving away vast sums of charitable funds. It is a divisive, immoral and fundamentally racist policy. If the reality of what was done by the English to the Irish does not leave you appalled… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Peter
Tim Chesterton
Reply to  Peter
4 months ago

‘An official policy of “white applications will be automatically rejected” has been adopted by the Church of England in regarding to giving away vast sums of charitable funds’

Um – where and when was this officially adopted?

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

Either you or being facetious or you do not understand the Church of England money and structures.

Either way, I would appeal to you – as others have done – to have some sense of discretion about wading into incendiary issues in a country far away from your own.

David Keen
David Keen
4 months ago

Has there been any comment about this from Anglican leaders in the countries actually affected by the historic slave trade?

Tim Chesterton
4 months ago

I’m going to step out of this thread now. Blessings to all.

David Preston
David Preston
4 months ago

Well what a mess. From the perspective of an Irish white family, 80% of whom vanished without trace during the famines and as the grandson of a destitute Irish immigrant I am perplexed. If we are to reward every survivor of injustice or tyranny – where will we start and when will it end. As a member of the Church of England now, I am not inclined to offer any of our money in reparations. The reason being that money donated by Christians is not tainted. If they repented their sins and came to faith later in life, then giving… Read more »

John Davies
John Davies
Reply to  David Preston
4 months ago

I would tend to agree, David. Those who profited the most were, without doubt, those who owned the plantations and, being landowners in their own country, weren’t very kindly in the way they treated their poorer fellow countrymen. I read John Prebble’s book on the Highland Clearances once; shameful betrayal of trust (assisted by the local kirks, who were often in the landowners pockets). Shall we say that certain portions of our society have very good reason to feel very guilty – some, Lord Trevelyan’s descendants in particular are trying to make amends, but how far can their efforts go… Read more »

T Pott
T Pott
Reply to  John Davies
4 months ago

Well, why did they want ships to take food to England in the first place? There were starving people in Ireland and they should have been fed. Why weren’t they? You ken fine why, but you will not admit it.

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