In its new report, From Lament to Action, the Church of England has decided to focus on race. Now, there is no question that racism exists within all cultures, but the Judaeo-Christian tradition has always been opposed to it. Christianity emphasises the common origin of all humans, made in God’s image, and contemporary science corroborates this moral and spiritual insight. The Church is right to set its face against racism.
Predictably, however, the C of E report urges an audit of monuments and an examination of the Church’s complicity in the slave trade. Why doesn’t it celebrate the long tradition of those Christians who devoted their lives to abolition?
The Englishwoman St Bathilda, herself a former slave, and consort of Clovis II of France, campaigned against the slave trade and for the emancipation of slaves in the 7th century.