The Bible speaks of an impartial God, a diverse body of believers and justice for all people. Yet, historically, the words of the Bible have been used to justify slavery, segregation and racial discrimination. And despite advances in law and in society, white privilege persists in all areas of life, including our churches.
Ben Lindsay describes how ‘being black in a white majority church can be a bit like the first day of a new school on repeat. Your natural insecurities come to the surface. Will I be included? Will I be noticed? How do I connect with the popular people? How do I fit in? Will my contributions be valued?’ These feelings come from a lifetime of slights and indignities based on skin colour and highlighted differences; of isolation and exclusion; and from the hostility and defensiveness of white people. And yet, not wanting to be defined by these experiences or be portrayed as a victim, Ben invites us to talk about race.
Join us to listen with open hearts to the wise and honest insights of our panel of speakers: the joys and sorrows, the grace and the pain of their individual and collective experience, and to explore together how we respond to each other as people of faith, see each other as God sees us and build inclusive and empowered communities.
Ben Lindsay is a pastor at Emmanuel Church London, the Founder and CEO of Power the Fight, a charity working to end youth violence and knife crime, and the author of We Need To Talk About Race: Understanding the Black Experience in White Majority Churches (SPCK 2019).
He will be joined by Guvna B, the first rapper to top the Christian and Gospel charts, the Revd Rosemarie Mallett, Vicar of St John’s Church, Brixton, and Lead Public Policy Advisor in the Diocese of Southwark and Chine McDonald, Media Content & PR Lead at Christian Aid.
The evening will be chaired by Canon Tricia Hillas, Canon Pastor of St Paul’s Cathedral, and include plenty of time for questions and answers.