26 Nov Contribution to Open Consultation
On November 26 2020, twelve members of The Tea Room (9 clergy and 3 ordinands) responded to the Archbishop’s Anti-Racism Task Force’s Open Consultation.
- Andy Bird (Bristol)
- Rev. Mark Nam (Bristol)
- Rev. Agnes Palairet (Bristol)
- Yin-An Ian Chen (Cambridge)
- Rev. Dr. Jonathan Jong (Chichester)
- Rev. Eileen Harrop (Durham)
- Rev. Fung Edith Lau (Kent)
- Rev. Dave Young (Leeds)
- Rev. Harry Ching (London)
- Nick Wong (London)
- Rev. Andrew Zihni (Southwark)
- Rev. Wing Man Tsang (Worthing)
The aim of the Open Consultation was to gather thoughts on action to be taken in the following areas and at either national diocesan or parish level:
Participation (including appointments);
Training & Mentoring;
Young People; and
Governance & Structures.
In terms of recommendations, we have sought to represent the interests of BAMEs in general, as well as the interests of East-Asians more specifically. The points are listed in no particular order. Because we all contributed, the language/tone varies from point-to-point, but we are all in general agreement with each point.
Participation (inc. Appointments)
- All senior posts to have ME or global majority candidates included on any short-lists.
- When considering ME or global majority participation, intentional consideration ought to be given to those of East-Asian heritage. Otherwise, it is all too easy for East-Asians to get absorbed by the overarching term ‘BAME’ and overlooked as a result.
- Interview panels to liaise with AMEN (or equivalent organisation) during recruiting process to safeguard, effective immediately.
- At least one BAME canon (Incl. honorary canon) in every Cathedral by 2025.
- At least 15% of diocesan staff to be of ME or global majority background by 2025: 15% is roughly the % of UK-wide BAME population, and considerably lower than the % of churchgoers who are BAME.
- At least one lecture/seminar on East Asian Theology to be included in IME1 training (e.g., included with liberation/postcolonial theologies, mission).
- East-Asian concerns to be represented in modules engaging with racism (given the rising cases of Sinophobia and COVID-related discrimination).
- East-Asian clergy invited to be Anglican Story, Ethos & Practice (ASEP) leaders in T.I.’s.
- Church History and Anglican studies need to have a far greater emphasis on non-European church history (especially studies on the impact of colonialism and missionary activity in non-European continents) and for the development of the global Anglican Communion forming a greater part of the study of Anglicanism.
- Ordinands to have some practical exposure to a global majority worshipping context, as part of their spiritual formation under IME1.
- Appreciation and therefore support given to BAME ordinands, who when writing theological reflections, have to re-live traumatizing situations/events. Also, for those marking such pieces to have the necessary sensitivity to not cause further trauma.
Training and mentoring
- DDO’s to be aware of and draw from East-Asian clergy to help East-Asian ordination candidates through the discernment process.
- T.I.’s to receive compulsory training and literature on how to train a BAME curate.
- Similarly, T.I.’s to receive compulsory training in how to engage with minority groups and/or other faiths.
- Pastoral provision for East-Asian ordinands and curates who encounter racism, including from DDOs and T.I.s.
- Unconscious-bias training made compulsory for all senior staff, clergy, interviewing panels (synod, church wardens, BAPS etc)
- Diocese to annually monitor changing local demographics among young people, including children and adults 18-40 as part of their mission strategy. This is especially important in cities with large university populations.
- Any national initiatives aimed at young people, to intentionally seek to include youth of East-Asian heritage.
- The CofE Youth Council or associated bodies to connect ME youth with other ME youth. Isolation is a major issue for some groups.
Governance & Structures
- Racism made a safeguarding issue.
- All diocese house senior staff teams to have a ME or global majority member.
- Whether it be included under unconscious bias training, or other methods, cultural intelligence needs to be developed across the board, so that East-Asians do not get conflated with other races and overlooked as a result.
- A recognition of the lack of East-Asian representation at all levels in the CofE.