From the blog

UK: Church Of England To Raise £1bn Slavery Reparations Fund

The Church of England’s £100 million fund set up to address historic links to slavery is too small and should be raised to £1 billion, says an independent oversight group.

The funding programme, announced in January last year for investment, research and engagement to “address past wrongs” but an independent oversight group says that £100 million is “insufficient” to counter the “historic and enduring greed, cynicism and hate with penitence, hope and love”, while adding the project’s nine-year timeframe is too long.

“The sum of £100 million is very small compared to the scale of racial disadvantage originating in African chattel enslavement,” said the group in a report.

Patrick Vernon, a member of the oversight group and a well-known Windrush campaigner, welcomed the church’s response to the report, and said it must be “the start of a journey for the country, to talk about this” issue.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, said the report was “the beginning of a multi-generational response” to the “appalling evil” of slavery.

Welby, who previously called the report’s interim findings a “source of shame” said the recommendations reiterated calls for the Church to fully acknowledge its involvement in the slave trade, after the archbishop said he was “deeply sorry for the links” in 2022.

Gareth Mostyn, chief executive of the Church Commissioners for England, said: “I hope that we will be able to start deploying funds by the end of this year, but we’ll make sure that we work through all of the practical, financial, legal issues to make sure that we’re ready to do that before we do.”

Money from the new fund should be invested in black-led businesses focusing on education, economic empowerment and better health outcomes, the report added.

Mr Mostyn said he hoped the establishment of the fund would encourage others to “co-invest and join us on this journey”, and that as an investment fund it would hopefully “grow and create a lasting legacy”.