Black Lives Matter

By |2020-08-29T14:57:36+02:00Friday, 12 June, 2020|Magazine, News|

A personal perspective

The events that have unfolded since George Floyd’s very public killing has caused me to catch my breath, pause — pause, and exhale.

Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo

As a writer I often find myself penning a poem to process my thoughts and feelings in response to confronting issues. The rawness of my poetry at this time reflects the place of pause I find myself in as I catch my breath.

But in writing these poems, I realise that not a thousand words nor a single word can fully articulate my strength of emotion. Like a wound that is constantly scabbed in my day-to-day lived experiences, the reality of life as a black woman is magnified again and again when public events like the George Floyd case occur.

As a person of colour, I’ve experienced a range of emotions in the last few weeks: tired, crushed, angry, frustrated, bewildered. My parents lived with racial injustice. I live with racial injustice. And, if things don’t change, my daughter’s generation will live with racial injustice.

It’s incredible that, in 2020, we still witness persecution and aggression against people of colour. Black and brown skinned people have endured decades of injustices. In recent history we note: the deaths of Stephen Lawrence and Mark Duggan (among countless others), the Grenfell Tower disaster, the Windrush scandal, an increase in knife crimes among black youths, and the higher impact of Covid-19 deaths on key workers from BAME backgrounds. How many more black and brown lives have to be lost before we work together – black, brown, and white – to see a real change in society?

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Not back to normal – planning for a better future

By |2020-06-06T16:03:12+02:00Saturday, 23 May, 2020|Church Plan: Community Networks, Events, Magazine|

An on-line lecture by Martin Palmer

Martin explored the theological, environmental and community challenges which the pandemic is raising in our own country and across the world. He stresses the importance of joining together as faiths to practically respond to the social and economic challenges, within an anxious and ever-changing environment.

Watch the recording

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I Can’t breath

By |2020-08-27T19:51:26+02:00Tuesday, 12 May, 2020|Magazine, News|

Rage rises

tongues of flame

sear bones, sinew and muscle

wrapped in brown skin

limbs writhe against batons

lips swell with beatings

eyes bleed, jaw cracks

wrapped in brown skin

shackled. starved. raped.

gouged. hunted. choked.

lynched. poked. injected.

stripped. drowned. expelled.

trampled. airbrushed. kneed.

medicated. gassed. gunned

down

down

down

years of white knuckles and heels

kick up dust clouds

in cotton fields, ghettos, tower blocks

brown skin burns,

turns flesh to dust dust dust

fills nostrils, clogs windpipes

Until

I can’t breathe

By: Revd Dr Catherine Okoronkwo

Letter from Rt Revd Vivienne Faull

By |2020-08-29T14:00:11+02:00Friday, 1 May, 2020|Magazine, News|

The appalling death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests have brought the issues of racism, oppression, inequality and injustice once again into the spotlight, where they should be. These are issues that the Diocese of Bristol, like many organisations, has been aware of, discussed and attempted to address. However, while we have taken some positive steps, it is clear that we have not done enough.

The protests in Bristol yesterday and the destruction of the statue of Edward Colston mark a moment in the city’s history. As Bishop of Bristol I will now act with a renewed sense of urgency and determination to:

  • Acknowledge and repent of the Church’s past involvement in and benefit from the slave trade;
  • Challenge and address institutional racism, listening to and learning from the experiences of Black, Asian and minority ethnic people;
  • Recruit and support more Black, Asian and minority ethnic clergy, staff and volunteers;
  • Make our churches truly welcoming to everyone, taking responsibility for the need for profound cultural change in our Church.
  • Work with others in the Diocese of Bristol and the Church of England to bring these things about

This work won’t be easy but we must be relentless in our commitment to bringing about change.

Chris Smith Talks about our Keep in Touch Scheme

By |2020-05-03T00:20:00+02:00Wednesday, 22 April, 2020|Magazine, News|

What is KIT? It might just be a regular phone call to check in on how our friends are. It could be offering help with practical things like shopping, IT support or other needs. We are a community of friends who are intent on finding hope in these difficult times by connecting with and supporting each other.

Chris Smith, one of our of volunteers, gave an excellent radio interview on Swindon 105.5 Community radio.

Chris talks about our Keeping in Touch scheme

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