Church heads unite to show support - The Evesham Observer

Church heads unite to show support

Evesham Editorial 26th Jun, 2020   0

CHURCH leaders across Evesham ‘took the knee’ in the heart of the town centre in an act of solidarity with the victims of racism in this country and across the globe.

Each individual either ‘took a knee’ or knelt in prayer for eight minutes and forty six seconds, the time associated with the killing of black man George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25 which has sparked demonstrations against racism throughout the world.

The peaceful demonstration, the first of its kind for Evesham Churches Together, came after intense discussion about how the act of solidarity would be framed.

While some churches were happy to be associated with the Black Lives Matter campaign, others were uneasy about the raft of political positions which had come to be associated with it.

In the end, all leaders felt it was important to make a stand together, in the shared conviction that racism is contrary to the Christian faith.

As a result, Vale church leaders came together with two banners. The united sentiment was reflected in a Bible passage which said “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)

Vicar of Evesham, the Rev Andrew Spurr who, along with Bishop Robert Paterson and Canon Richard Thorniley, were representing Anglican Christians, told the Observer: “It is only eighteen months since we heard all the empire, imperial, we-strode-the-world rhetoric which propelled Brexit.

“Suddenly this event has catapulted the long, slow reappraisal of our imperial past, which has been going on for about 30 years, into public view.

“This very act of solidarity against racism is making us face squarely the dark side of our imperial history, in which fortunes were made out of trading human lives, and the Church of England was complicit in this.”

“Maybe this movement will help us look honestly at who we have been, in order to tell a story of our nation citizens of every ethnicity can affirm as true,” he added.

The united stance marked almost a month of protests in the USA and across the globe, including in the UK where in Bristol where a statue of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down and dumped in the docks by irate protestors.

A post-mortem concluded Mr Floyd’s heart stopped as cops restrained him and compressed his neck for nearly nine minutes. All four officers involved have since been charged with second-degree murder.


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