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Thought For The Week - 04-03-24


Dear Colleagues and Friends,

This week I received a copy of the 4th biannual report of the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice. This provides an update on the impact of From Lament to Action.

I read with emotion the introduction by the Chair of the commission, Rt Hon Lord Boateng (CVO). In the opening page he speaks, with passion and emotion, about the sad reality of confronting deep rooted patterns of behaviour and, the challenges of raising awareness of the need for change in the area of Racial Justice. It is clear he has come up against those who do not recognise the need for change and others who consider this work to be little more than ‘wokery’. He describes the pace of change across the church as glacial and patchy. On reading his words, there is no doubting his sadness and deep frustration.

This leads me to this week’s lectionary and a reading from John 2 v 13 -22. This is a story where deep frustration is also evident. It is one of the few times that Jesus is angry. On seeing the temple full of sellers and money exchangers, he shouts and over turns tables, driving them out of ‘his Father’s house’. He is challenged by those present and they demand to know with what authority he acts. He responds by saying that if the temple is destroyed he will raise it again in 3 days. We know that here he is alluding to his own death and resurrection.

Easter is the time that we remember that Jesus’ resurrection brings hope to all Christians. Returning to the report from the Racial Justice commission,  you will be pleased to know that Lord Boateng does go on to explain that there is still hope for Racial Justice. There are examples of good practice in different Dioceses which he hopes to see replicated across the Church. You may also be pleased to know that Lincoln Diocese has been asked to share some its work including the work taking place in education. Lord Boateng’s words urge everyone to respond to his call.

I’d therefore like to take this opportunity to thank you for all you do to keep racial justice a key priority in your schools, academies and MATs. It is particularly important in a diocese which is 88% white British. I too recognise the challenge of ensuring that this work has impact in all our schools and communities. I recognise the challenges that you all face in promoting racial justice and know that it is not always an easy journey.

We can be inspired by the theological roots of this work which have been developed by the National Racial Justice Team and shared with you below. Please do contact me if you’d like more information about this to weave into your work. Let us all encourage one another and learn from one another as we explore this important work together.

from June Richardson, School Effectiveness Adviser

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