Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12.2
Anti-Racist Learning Group
The anti-Racist Learning Group began meeting on zoom in July 2020 to explore some resources together with discussion, questions and listening in groups.
---------- What's Next for the Anti-Racist Learning Group?
1. Next cycle of gatherings
Our next set of gatherings will be 3 Zoom evenings devoted to reading extracts from Azariah France-Williams' book Ghost Ship: Institutional Racism and the Church of England and responding together. It will look like this:
• Tues 10 Nov, 7.45-9.15pm - Discussion evening
• Tues 24 Nov, 7.45-9.15pm - Discussion evening
• Tues 8 Dec, 7.45-9.15pm - Response: confession, lamentation
Please let us know if you want to attend! You can buy the book here; we can also email you extracts.
2. Call for pop-up events or cycles from the congregation
We'd love to hear from members of the congregation who would like to explore a specific idea or activity. This can be a one-off - you don't need to be an expert, just desire to walk along others. Possible ideas that have been mooted include black history walks in our area, and a series of special conversations with older church members who carry the history. Get in touch with the church office if you have an idea you wish to take forward!
Anti-Racist Learning Resources
Many of us at All Saints are recognising how our minds need to be transformed out of patterns of racism and discrimination and towards God’s good, pleasing and perfect will - we see something of His will for us in the picture of the awesome multi-national worshipping community in Revelation 7.9.
There are lots of resources around that we’re finding helpful. Here are some of them - things to watch, read, listen to or follow. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means! One thing that can be helpful to do is look at the books, articles, programmes, music or films that any of these writers and thinkers quote - that will increase your list right away.
Do let us know if there’s something you’ve found particularly helpful as we hope to refresh this list from time to time.
* To read *
(Please consider a provider other than Amazon to order any books - there are significant concerns about their treatment of workers and they have been identified as ‘aggressively avoiding’ taxes. We've included some suggestions in the links we have used.)
Ben Lindsay’s book ‘We need to talk about race: understanding the black experience in white majority churches’ is a great read at whatever point you’re at on this journey. There was also a great event at St Paul’s Cathedral of the same name back in 2019, and a video is available here on YouTube. It’s well worth a watch with a number of brilliant contributions. [Jenny]
Azariah France-Williams has written this profound, important book, Ghost Ship, specifically addressing institutional racism in the Church of England. Azariah and Anna spent time training at All Saints many years ago but some of you might remember them. All Saintser Nich Bull blogs about the book here and Revd Darius Weithers, who many All Saintsers will remember from his time at All Saints, also references this book in this powerful article . [Jenny]
Owen Hylton has written the book Crossing the divide- a call to embrace diversity. Owen is the pastor of Beacon Church in Brixton. As someone born into a black West Indian family and living in Britain, Owen brings a brilliant perspective from his own life-experience and his walk with Jesus of how God’s Kingdom and therefore God’s Church are indeed for all nations. This is an author who is not writing theory, but lives out the great insights he gives here. [Jonathan M]
There have been lots of really good poetry collections published recently exploring experiences of migration and racial discrimination. Top of my list would be Roger Robinson’s A Portable Paradise (purchase), which is both moving and funny. Another excellent collection is Jay Bernad’s Surge, which is focussed around the New Cross fire of 1981. Both may contain some strong language [Mike].
* To watch *
The Unwanted - The Secret Windrush Files
I found this an utterly shocking and deeply saddening documentary. It’s not an easy watch but it opened my eyes to one of the ways in which racism has been a horrific, systemic part of our nation’s history. [Jenny]
Programmes by the historian David Olasauga are also excellent. He’s been at the forefront of the BBC’s ‘Black and British Season’, which can be found here. Specifically his 4-part history documentary ‘Black & British: A Forgotten History’ is both eye-opening and very powerful, while Britain’s Forgotten Slave Owners explores the UK Government’s compensation of slave owners in the 19th century. The biggest ever Government payout up until the bailout of the banks in 2008. [Mike]
* To listen to *
Have you heard George’s podcast? [Available on BBC Sounds] This is a brilliant listen - I particularly found the live episode here thought-provoking. George looks at racial discrimination in education, the criminal justice system, and other parts of society through his experience growing up in North West London, and his profession and calling as a poet. [Jenny]
Black Berea is another excellent podcast put together by Black British Christians in London. This episode specifically speaks about the killing of George Floyd and the aftermath. [Jenny]
We would love to hear your recommendations; what have you read or listened to? What did you think about it? Why would it be good for others to read or hear? If appropriate we will add it to the list above. Do contact us with any thoughts.