Statement on racism from the Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Conference

Home » News » Statement on racism
Revd Dr Jonathan R Hustler

#Statement on racism from the Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Conference

The brutal killing of George Floyd, who died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis, has prompted a wave of anger and revulsion around the world. As Christian people, we are appalled that someone could die in such a fashion and appalled also at the continued injustice which many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people experience in many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, and in many institutions, including, shamefully, the Methodist Church in Britain.

We therefore welcome and endorse the call of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement for radical action in addressing the causes of this injustice. The Methodist Church in Britain believes that racism is a denial of the gospel. However, we have to recognize that we have not eradicated the problem from our Church, despite the excellent work of many over several decades; in the last year we have redoubled our efforts to do so and are actively working on the implementation of our 'Inclusive Methodist Church' strategy which commits to challenging all forms of discrimination and creating a Church where people from every background are welcome and are safe from abuse and discrimination.

Such a Church will celebrate and not be afraid of diversity; it will be disciplined and uncompromising in its refusal to tolerate any form of racism; it will work to encourage the vocation of those from minority groups to serve in positions of senior leadership; and it will be one in which all people can be confident of the welcome that they will receive as they share in worship and ministry with us. We repent of the ways that we have fallen short of that in the past and of our slowness in changing our ways and we continue to look for ways in which we can witness to the all-encompassing love of God and become the transformation that we long to be. 'Only the Spirit's power can fit us for this hour': we pray, 'Come, Holy Spirit, come!'

Ends

The Methodist Church is committed to promoting a culture of inclusion across the Connexion. Find out more about guidance produced for churches including unconscious bias training here.

Read what the Revd Dr Barbara Glasson, President of the Conference, has written on the death of George Floyd and racism, here.

The Belonging Together Ministers Group from the Methodist Church of Great Britain has written to the General Commission on Religion & Race of the United Methodist Church, USA — the counter-part to our Equality, Diversity & Inclusion group, and to the Chair of the Black Church Leaders (UMC) in New York. Read the letter here.

Read also a statement from the All African Council of Churches, one of our partner churches condemning injustice and racism in the USA here.

You may also be interested in

Helen Cameron
Rev'd Helen Cameron: Sat 04 Jul

30th June 2020Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,Having heard of the extended period of lockdown which is being put in place in Leicester, just as other communities are being offered a significant relaxation of the rules I wanted to write and assure you of my love and prayers and those of the District and the connexion. The Methodist Conference is meeting virtually and the President prayed...

Paula Hunt
Rev'd Paula Hunt: Sat 04 Jul

June 30th 2020Last week, I wrote of how we were expecting the lockdown restrictions to be eased. Well, the restrictions were eased, and then reimposed on Leicester and some of the neighbouring villages (including Birstall, but not Rothley). Almost immediately, Rev Helen Cameron, our Chair of District, sent us a letter of support, and I've included a copy for you.Last Thursday, I started...

Paula Hunt
Rev'd Paula Hunt: Sun 28 Jun 9:09am

June 23rd 2020Dear Friends I write these letters on Tuesday of each week, knowing that by the time you receive them, things may well have changed. This week, I'm writing whilst knowing that the Government is about to relax the guidelines so that hairdressers, cafes, shops and restaurants will be able to re-open. The economy is suffering, we're told, and we have to get people back to...