Author A D A France-Williams
Publisher SCM £19.99
This is an uncomfortable book, implacable in its challenge to the hierarchy of the Anglican church, yet compelling in its insights and thoroughly readable. Subtitling his book ‘Institutional Racism and the Church of England’, the author presents cogent evidence that Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) ministers and laity are side-lined and essentially ignored. He uses history, theology, biography, fiction and some excellent original poetry to make his case. White bishops and senior clergy do not usually emerge well from the process, although some have had the grace and humility to apologise and admit there is a deep-rooted problem, which will not be fully addressed by pastoral, practical support. The strong ethnic voices in the church may have been heard, but not necessarily understood. France-Williams shows that BAME people need white partners who will fight alongside them to combat racism, and not just ‘cheer from the sides.’ If you think that racism in the church does not exist, or if you believe it is not a problem in your (white, rural) diocese, then think again. This book is required reading for all ministers.