Church of England urged to give more than $1 billion to pay for slavery tiesMon, 04 Mar 2024 13:53:43 GMT

The Church of England on Monday pledged to boost efforts to compensate for historical ties to slavery after a new report called for funding to be increased tenfold to $1.27 billion.In January 2023, the funding body of the mother church of global Anglicanism pledged to support communities affected by slavery with a £100 million ($127 million) investment over nine years.That followed an admission by the Church Commissioners that it was originally funded with investments in an 18th-century company involved in the African slave trade.On Monday, experts advising the church on the initiative concluded that the financial commitment was “insufficient” for achieving “true justice, reparation and healing”.It recommended a new target of £1 billion.”Our hope is that others will join us and invest alongside us and that through our investment, through co-investment from others and through the investment funds growing from returns,” Gareth Mostyn, chief executive and secretary of the Church Commissioners, told a news conference in reaction to the report.”We hope that the fund will grow hopefully to a billion, and more, and create a lasting positive legacy.”The Church Commissioners, which manage an investment fund of more than £10 billion to support the activities of the church and clergy, have committed to mobilising the planned £100 million within five years, instead of nine.The money will finance projects aimed at supporting disadvantaged black communities, as well as entrepreneurs, researchers, doctors, teachers and others.The church will also encourage other British institutions with histories linked to a slave-trading past to take responsibility.”We recognise that the Church of England is deeply embedded in the core of the institutions of this country,” said Bishop of Croydon Rosemarie Mallett.”We recognise that our responsibility, that we’ve taken on intentionally, is to do what we can do, and really hope that by doing what we can do, others will look at us and see that as an example.”The Church of England has already apologised for its historical connections to slavery, as Britain confronts the legacy of its colonial past.In 2020, it described the fact that some of its members had “actively profited” from slavery as a “source of shame”.