Churches to mark tenth Racial Justice Sunday on 9/11
Christian churches of all traditions across Britain and Ireland will mark the tenth anniversary of Racial Justice Sunday on 11 September 2005. There will be special national celebrations in London, Glasgow and Cardiff, as well as hundreds of local services around the nations.
Justice Sunday always falls on the second Sunday of September. Most of the major church traditions in Britain and Ireland (including Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Pentecostal, Free Church and Evangelical) invite their members to use the day to celebrate
diversity, reflect on racism, pray for racial justice and contribute to the Racial Justice Fund, which supports projects working for equality and community cohesion and improving community relations.
Patricia White, who is acting moderator of the CTBI Churches' Commission for Racial Justice, said: "Although it is a coincidence that the tenth anniversary of Racial Justice Sunday falls on 11 September, it is very appropriate. The attacks on New York and Washington on 11 September 2001 and the London bombings in July this year both led to very real tensions between different communities. There has been a lot of scapegoating and stereotyping. Since the 7 July bombings, there has been a huge rise in racist and anti-Muslim attacks."
She continued: "Racial Justice Sunday is about affirming that we want to live together in mutual respect, and that it's possible to do so. It's about saying that human diversity can be a source of strength and delight and doesn't have to be feared. It draws attention to injustices but says we can overcome them peacefully. It says no to fear, prejudice and violence, yes to diversity, love and respect."
The annual observance is co-ordinated by the Churches' Commission for Racial Justice (CCRJ) working together with the Catholic Association for Racial Justice, the Methodist Racial Justice Committee, the United Reformed Church Racial Justice Office, CYTUN (Churches Together in Wales), the Scottish Churches Racial Justice Group, the Refugee Project of the Irish Bishops' Conference and others.
CCRJ is well-known for its anti-racism work and is responsible for Asylum Voices, a book documenting the experiences of people seeking asylum. It is part of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, the official ecumenical body.
Earlier this week, the man who is about to become the first ever black
archbishop in the Church of England's history said he believed it must
face up to racism
and the under-representation of minority ethnic groups in its
Dr John Sentamu, Bishop of Birmingham and Archbishop-designate of
York, made his latest comments about what he has dubbed the
'monochrome culture' of the Church in his foreword to a new book, 'Rejection,
Resistance and Resurrection: Speaking Out Against Racism in the
Church' by Mukti Barton, his current adviser on black and Asian
Details of the special Racial Justice Sunday 2005 events are as follows:
London: 6 pm, 11 September, St Paul's Cathedral. African drummers, a youth choir and gospel musicians,will join speakers the Rt Rev Tom Butler, Bishop of Southwark, and the Rev Dr Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance. Also involving: The Rt Rev Kieran Conry, President, Catholic Association for Racial Justice; Bishop Angaelos, Coptic Orthodox Church; His Eminence Archbishop Gregorios of Thyateira and Great Britain; the Rev Ermal Kirby, Chair, London North East Methodist District.
Glasgow: 6 pm 11 September, Pollokshields Church (Church of Scotland), 525 Shields Road, Glasgow, G41 2RF. Involving the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, the Rev David Lacy, the Most Rev Mario Conti, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Glasgow, and the Rt Rev Idris Jones, Scottish Episcopal Bishop of Glasgow.
Cardiff /Caerdydd: 3 pm, 11 September/Medi, Tabernacl, The Hayes. Speaker/Siaradwr: Revd/Parchg Aled Edwards, Chair of the Welsh Refugee Council/ Cadeirydd Cyngor Ffoaduriaid Cymraeg.