Tue. Sep 27th, 2022

Church of England names its first racial justice director

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The Church of England has appointed a leader for their “Racial Justice Unit” in compliance with the archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce report. 

Former Barbados High Commissioner Guy Hewitt will take up the role in November. Hewitt is expected to work with the Archbishops’ Commission for Racial Justice to help enact policies recommended by the unit. 

Hewitt, son of Indian and Barbadian parents, became a priest in the Church of England in 2005 and is currently an honorary senior research fellow with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London.

“I am humbled by the confidence of those who have chosen me to serve as the inaugural director and look forward to what I plan to be a participatory and inclusive process of restoration,” Hewitt said of his appointment. “The Commission on Racial Justice is an important step toward the Church becoming truly one in Christ Jesus.”

CHURCH OF ENGLAND APOLOGIZES FOR ANTISEMITIC LAWS FROM 800 YEARS AGO

“The appointment by the Church of England of a long-awaited racial justice director is to be warmly welcomed,” said Lord Boateng, who heads the Archbishops’ Commission on Racial Justice. 

He continued, “The Rev. Guy Hewitt brings a wealth of experience to the task at both parish and international levels. The unit he will lead must now be adequately staffed and resourced to deliver on the change promised. The Commission greatly looks forward to working with the Rev. Hewitt going forward.”

The Church of England is the official state religion of the U.K. and the founding institution of the Anglican Communion.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, center right, and bishops from around the world gather at University of Kent in Canterbury during the 15th Lambeth Conference, July 29, 2022.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, center right, and bishops from around the world gather at University of Kent in Canterbury during the 15th Lambeth Conference, July 29, 2022.
(Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

Anglicans, whose roots are in the missionary work of the Church of England, are the third-largest grouping of Christians in the world, behind Roman Catholics and the Orthodox.

In the U.S., the Episcopal Church is the most prominent form of Anglicanism. The Episcopal Church is one of the first churches founded in the U.S. and was intended as a version of the Church of England. 

ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY CONDEMNS GAY MARRIAGE, BUT ANGLICAN BISHOPS REMAIN DIVIDED

Anglicanism has been fracturing for decades over gay relationships, women’s ordination and other issues. Those rifts blew wide open in 2003 when the New York-based Episcopal Church consecrated the first openly gay bishop, Gene Robinson, in New Hampshire. 

The year prior, the top U.S. Episcopal legislative body, or General Convention, voted to authorize gay marriages in their churches.

Anglicans are the third-largest grouping of Christians in the world, behind Roman Catholics and the Orthodox.

Anglicans are the third-largest grouping of Christians in the world, behind Roman Catholics and the Orthodox.
(Gareth Fuller/PA Images via Getty Images)

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In 2009, Anglican national leaders in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and other church provinces helped create the Anglican Church in North America, as a theologically conservative alternative to the U.S. Episcopal Church.



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