A letter about BAME and BLM from Revd. Dan Haylett sent to all Enfield Methodist Circuit members on 14.06.20

We have learned in lockdown that being the Church is more than attending worship in a particular building.

In the light of the renewed focus on the violence, injustice and oppression faced on a daily basis by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people all over the world,

including within our own neighbourhoods and Churches,

we are challenged to ensure our attitudes and actions consistently and defiantly speak out and act against all forms of prejudice and hatred.

This is surely the work of being a Christian today, to be mindful when we stand in privilege in relation to others,

to be alive to and ready to challenge racism, prejudice and bias in all its forms

and to live in ways that celebrate the truth that indeed Black lives matter.

Please see below a statement made by the Methodist Church:

Statement on racism from the Revd Dr Jonathan Hustler, Secretary of the Conference:

“The brutal killing of George Floyd, who died at the hands of police officers in Minneapolis,

has prompted a wave of anger and revulsion around the world.

As Christian people, we are appalled that someone could die in such a fashion and appalled also at the continued injustice

which many Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people experience in many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom,

and in many institutions, including, shamefully, the Methodist Church in Britain.

We therefore welcome and endorse the call of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement for radical action in addressing the causes of this injustice.

The Methodist Church in Britain believes that racism is a denial of the gospel.

However, we have to recognize that we have not eradicated the problem from our Church, despite the excellent work of many over several decades;

in the last year we have redoubled our efforts to do so and are actively working on the implementation of our ‘Inclusive Methodist Church’ strategy

which commits to challenging all forms of discrimination and creating a Church

where people from every background are welcome and are safe from abuse and discrimination.

Such a Church will celebrate and not be afraid of diversity;

it will be disciplined and uncompromising in its refusal to tolerate any form of racism;

it will work to encourage the vocation of those from minority groups to serve in positions of senior leadership;

and it will be one in which all people can be confident of the welcome that they will receive as they share in worship and ministry with us.

We repent of the ways that we have fallen short of that in the past and of our slowness in changing our ways

and we continue to look for ways in which we can witness to the all-encompassing love of God

and become the transformation that we long to be. ‘Only the Spirit’s power can fit us for this hour’: we pray, ‘Come, Holy Spirit, come!’”.

We all bear responsibility for ensuring that these are more than words,

and across the Circuit we are engaging in conversations about what needs to be done better and differently,

that we might all truly feel that we are indeed one in Christ.

There is room for each of us to engage in self-reflection, prayer and responsible protest.

Only in these ways can we truly be said to be becoming the Church we were meant to be"