The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

Racial Justice at Hampstead Parish Church


At Hampstead Parish Church, what we do is underpinned by our mission: Building an inclusive community of Christian love, faith, witness and action.

As set out in our Mission Action Plan, we aim to be a compassionate, open church, both locally rooted and globally connected, confidently sharing the good news of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, seeking justice, welcoming all, and walking alongside one another in love and faith.

We are a member of the Inclusive Church network of churches.

Racial injustice in its many forms and its impact on our national life is not new. The death of George Floyd and the international Black Lives Matter movement that followed gave a new and urgent impetus for fresh scrutiny and a renewed commitment. At Hampstead Parish Church, as in many organisations, we felt a need to talk, listen, reflect and take action.

We have established a Racial Justice Working Party:

  • To listen to the perspectives and experiences of others, and take steps to build our awareness and understanding on matters of race or ethnicity
  • To raise awareness of the issues associated with race in society today and use every opportunity to promote equality and inclusion
  • To promote multi-culturalism and the richness this can bring to our community and our worship
  • To recognise injustices and more subtle inequalities and micro-aggressions, and to call them out
  • To aim for a more complete telling of the history of our church and parish, one which includes the contribution of all races and reflects diverse historical perspectives

Resources

We invite you to explore the resources below to help build awareness and understanding:

To read:

Think racism hasn't affected me? It's there almost every day - World athletics champion, Dina Asher Smith, talks candidly about her experiences of overt racism and micro-aggressions

'Colonialism had never really ended': my life in the shadow of Cecil Rhodes - Simukai Chigudu, Associate Professor of African Politics at the University of Oxford, shares this family and personal history

Let's Talk About Race – ‘A pocket guide to getting conversations started’ from Business in the Community covering questions such as “Is it ok to say Black?”

"Don't call me BAME" – A BBC commentary on why some people are rejecting the term ‘BAME’

Ghost Ship by A.D.A. France-Williams - a new and accessible book about racism and racial justice in the Church of England

Why I Am No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge (here's her original blogpost) – prize-winning book exploring everything from eradicated black history to the inextricable link between class and race

 

To watch:

Monica Bolley, Synodical Secretary and a member of staff of the Diocese of London since 1981, shares her story (in three 10-minute clips) as a black woman in London. The hope is to inspire all to feel that they have a key part to play in the demise of racism: Part 1; Part 2; Part 3. A transcript is available here.

We want Black lives to matter now - International cricketers, Michael Holding and Ebony Rainford-Brent, share their experiences of racism and explain the barriers Black people face in sport and society. 16 minutes. (Sky Sports, 2020)

“Black is the New Black” - Episode 1, Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4 - Exceptional figures from politics, business, sport, culture, religion and science share their insights into being Black and British today in four 27-minute episodes (Simon Frederick & BBC, 2016)

Will Britain ever have a Black Prime Minister? – British TV and movie star, David Harewood investigates the obstacles facing Black Britons in rising to positions of power and influence. 60 minutes. (BBC, 2016)

Black and British – Historian, writer and broadcaster, David Olusoga demonstrates how the often forgotten story of black history has been an integral part of Britain’s national narrative in this four-part series (BBC, 2016)