Racial Diversity and Belonging

A worldwide, multi-national, multi-ethnic worshipping family, gathered around the person of Jesus, the lamb on the throne, has always been in the heart and plan of God.

Racial DIVersity and Belonging

A worldwide, multi-national, multi-ethnic worshipping family, gathered around the person of Jesus, the lamb on the throne, has always been in the heart and plan of God. 

Sadly, sinful humanity has often not responded to this direction of the Holy Spirit. The history of the church shows that the sin of racism has too often compromised its worship and witness.  As part of the body of Christ, we repent of the sin of racial division and of complacency.  We long that we would not be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds in Christ Jesus.  As we humble ourselves and pray, we long and expect to see God bring healing to our land, and unity to His church in the UK, and here in Peckham.

In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in May 2020, All Saints started a process of listening, discussion and reflection on the experiences of brothers and sisters who had suffered racism, and of addressing racism at both personal and institutional levels. This process has resulted in a racial diversity and belonging sub group of the PCC chaired by Eian Stedford and June Brown. 


June Brown, Chair RDB Sub-group
June Brown, Chair RDB Sub-group
Eian Stedford, Chair, RDB Sub-group
Eian Stedford, Chair, RDB Sub-group
Executive Summary
The Three year strategy 2023- 2025

The strategy is expressed in terms of five areas of fruit we want to see, and key actions we commit ourselves to taking.

  1. Theological confidence and prayerful grounding in God’s vision and plan for a multi-ethnic family   

2. Deeper relationships of love in our church community

3. Wider doors to welcome everyone

4. Diversity and representation throughout church leadership. 

5. Speaking and acting in the community to promote God’s kingdom vision for racial justice  

To hear more about our heart for this issue and what we think God is saying to us you can tune in to this excellent talk from Owen Hylton from when he came to speak last year.

You can contact the Racial Diversity and Belonging sub-group at racialdiversity@allsaintspeckham.org.uk

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.)  

Reading While Black. Jenny writes: "This book has really enriched my reading of the bible by opening my eyes to a perspective totally different to my own. Esau Maccaulley shines a light on God's word and God's plan in a faith-filled, energising, powerful way - highly recommended."  (If you prefer listening to reading, the Bible Project have a podcast episode where Maccaulley shares some of the key themes.)

Reading While Black

Ben Lindsay’s bookWe 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 *

Imagine... Malorie Blackman

This is an inspiring look at award winning author Malorie Blackman touching on her groundbreaking novel Noughts and Crosses and her experiences of racism growing up Black British. If you look carefully you might even spot one of our church family reading from one of her works!  [Julie] Watch on iplayer.

Malorie Blackman

Small Axe Film Series

"Love letters to black resilience and triumph in London's West Indian community, directed by Oscar winner Steve McQueen. Vivid stories of hard-won victories in the face of racism." Covering a range of topics from education to romance. Watch on iplayer

Small Axe

* 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]  


listening sliders (1)

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.