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Church Commissioners of the Church of England welcome recommendations to address legacy of African chattel enslavement

Posted on: March 19, 2024 5:42 PM
The Rt Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett

In a statement issued on 4 March 2024, the Church of England’s investment arm, the Church Commissioners of England, “warmly welcomed” the full report of an independent Oversight Group’s recommendations into how they should implement a new impact investment fund to address the legacy of African chattel enslavement.

The Black-led Oversight Group, of which most of its members are from the impacted communities, was appointed last year by the Church Commissioners of England. The Fund and grant-funding programme are being set up as part of the Church Commissioners’ journey to heal and repair the damage caused by the legacy of African chattel enslavement. It recommends that the new impact investment fund be called the Fund for Healing, Repair and Justice.

The Oversight Group used consultation and research conducted with the global African diaspora to ensure the voices of those affected by African chattel enslavement were central to the process and the final recommendations. The recommendations call on the Church Commissioners to use this Fund to invest in Black-led businesses focusing on education, economic empowerment, health outcomes and improving access to land and food as well as provide grants to address these and other issues brought up for communities impacted by the legacies of African chattel enslavement.

The report says “Crimes against humanity rooted in African chattel enslavement have caused damage so vast that it will require patient effort spanning generations to address. But we can start today, in small and large ways."

The Rt Revd Dr Rosemarie Mallett, Bishop of Croydon and Chair of the Oversight Group, said, “No amount of money can fully atone for or fully redress the centuries long impact of African chattel enslavement, the effects of which are still felt around the world today. But implementing the recommendations will show the commitment of the Church Commissioners to supporting the process of healing, repair and justice for all of those across society impacted by the legacy of African chattel enslavement.”

The Most Revd Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said, “In seeking justice for all, we must continue to work together remembering that all are created in the image of God. The Oversight Group’s independent work with the Church Commissioners is the beginning of a multi-generational response to the appalling evil of Transatlantic chattel enslavement. My prayer is that this work will stimulate further visionary and practical co-created action.”

Read the report here: 03/church-commissioners-for-england-oversight-group-report-to-the-board-ofgovernors.pdf