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Racial Justice 

Bishop’s Adviser for UK Minority Ethnic Affairs

Revd Karlene Kerr is the Bishop of Norwich’s Adviser for UK Minority Ethnic Affairs. Revd Karlene is also Team Vicar at Gaywood in King’s Lynn. She was appointed in 2020 in the light of a meeting following Black Lives Matter. 

“I welcome Karlene Kerr’s appointment to advise me and the whole diocese about the needs of BAME members of our communities and to help foster a culture in the diocese where the sin of racism and exclusion is challenged and called out.  The realisation that here amongst us, insidious and often unrecognised ways, our brothers and sisters are being demeaned, ignored and discriminated against is deeply shocking. In leading the Diocese of Norwich, I am clear that is is God’s desire for all of us to flourish and for no one to be diminished. That is our direction of travel, anything less we will set our faces firmly against.”

Revd Karlene Kerr

Bishop of Norwich’s Adviser for UK Minority Ethnic Affairs

At the time of her appointment, Revd Karlene said:

“While there has been some progress over the years with regards to the Church’s relationship and engagement with BAME communities, we are all aware that there is still a way to go as recent events have revealed. Much more needs to be done in order of the Church to be a place where ALL people, irrespective of their identities feel valued, welcomed and affirmed. I believe that the Church, as an institution within our society, has a pivotal role in this. We must work together to make this Church a place where we are deemed equal as brothers and sisters in Christ, made in the image of God. It is only then that we become truly what we were called to be, ‘a light unto the nations.’”

The Bishop of Norwich appointed Revd Karlene Kerr as a Honorary Canon of Norwich Cathedral in October 2023. 

"My installation represents the fact that there is a strong commitment from the senior staff to ensure that racial justice, diversity and inclusion become embedded into the life and ministry of the Cathedral. The responsibility is thankfully, not solely mine and that of my minority ethnic colleagues. Rather there is a collective recognition and acknowledgement that racial justice, indeed justice of any kind, is all our responsibility. Now is the time for substance over symbolism."

From Lament to Action

From Lament to Action is a report led by the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Anti-Racism Taskforce. It was published in 2021 and calls for urgent changes to the culture of the Church of England.

The report identified five priority areas in which the Church of England needs to make a notable and lasting change. They are:

  1. Participation

Ensuring the full participation of UKME/GMH Anglicans in the life of the Church of England through the use of co-opted powers in governance bodies, new requirements around appointments and fundamental changes to data gathering, targets and reporting.

  1. Education

The Church of England plays a vital role in education. This priority area considers content and curriculum development, equipping teachers, tutors and other educators with appropriate training, and making governing boards, teaching staff and the student population more inclusive.

  1. Training and Mentoring

To achieve lasting change and to embed anti-racism practice at all levels, the Taskforce proposes mandatory facilitate learning programmes to member anti-racism practice, nationally produced resources for all involved in discernment and formation processes.

  1. Young People

This priority area seeks to create opportunities for UKME/GMH young people to participate within the Churhc both locally and systematically, while also seeking to see UKME/GMH young people at the heart of the congregation, which the Church of England historically has not done.

  1. Structures and Governance

The Taskforce recommends ‘consciously modifying the structures and governance of the Church of England to allow for the effective participation of UKME/GMH people at every level. This includes amending governance practices, processes and behaviours from PCCs to General Synod.

Racial Justice Resources

Racial Justice Sunday

Racial Justice Sunday 2023, resources to read and watch about why racial justice matters

Black History Month

October marks the start of Black History Month in the UK, join dioceses and parishes across the Church of England as we mark this month with events, services, exhibitions and more.