From Lament to Action

From Lament to Action graphic

In April 2021, the Anti Racism Taskforce on racism in the Church of England published the From Lament to Action report.

Bishop Ruth joined with Archbishops of the Church of England in pledging to be the generation to halt the cycle of inaction in the church on racism.

The report was commissioned in order to understand what progress has been made towards tackling racism. It is clear from its finding that despite many promises in previous years, little has been done.

Bishop Ruth said: “We acknowledge that we have failed. Despite warm words for many years, there has been too little action and too often there have been examples of our brothers and sister being marginalised, abused and left voiceless. I welcome the recommendations in this report.

“I am working closely with my UKME colleagues in the diocese to learn from them how we must act to free the voices of those who have been overlooked and ignored, and listen and learn from their experiences and expertise.

Rev Narinder Tegally is Lead Chaplain of the Spiritual Care Centre at the Royal United Bath NHS Foundation Trust, the Assistant Diocesan Director of Ordinands for the diocese and also sits on the national minority ethnic vocations advisory group, which is working to empower minority ethnic communities to think about their vocation.

She said: “Firstly, before we can encourage vocations we need to welcome and accept and love every human being. I have been to many churches where I have just been ignored. And I have been on baptism visits where people see my colour first, not my collar.”

She experienced racism growing up in the UK and said she had been sidelined for promotion both in the church and in nursing. Bath and Wells was one of the few dioceses where she had felt “affirmed” she said.

“My faith journey, my journey as a human being, has been one of pain and sorrow but also one of hope – hope that for my grandchildren things may be different. We all need to take responsibility for change.”

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Who to contact

If you wish to be part of the conversation, please contact Kate Scott, Bishops’ Chaplain.