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Church of England apologizes for hyperlinks to slavery

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The Church of England on Tuesday apologized for previous hyperlinks to slavery by a associated monetary physique now engaged in a wide-ranging course of to compensate victimized communities.

“I’m deeply sorry,” responded Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the non secular chief of the Anglican Church. “The time has come to take motion in response to this shameful previous.”

The report launched Tuesday follows revelations in June 2022 that “the Church Commissioners’ endowment had historic ties” to the transatlantic slave commerce.

The Church Commissioners of England was established in 1948, partially with a donation from a fund courting again to Queen Anne in 1704 meant to assist the poorest clergy.

The report reveals that this fund had invested “important quantities” within the South Sea Firm, which traded in African slaves. It additionally acquired donations from individuals concerned within the slave commerce and plantation economic system.

“The Church Commissioners are deeply sorry for his or her predecessors’ ties to the transatlantic slave commerce,” the group mentioned in a press release.

The group has pledged a fund of 100 million kilos (113.1 million euros) over the subsequent 9 years for “a greater and fairer future for all.”

This cash will go particularly to “communities which have been affected by slavery”. A part of the funds can be used to additional analysis the hyperlinks between the Church and slavery.

The Church Commissioners’ deputy chairman, Bishop David Walker of Manchester, mentioned the group now hopes to create a “lasting optimistic legacy that may serve communities affected by slavery.”

The Church Commissioners handle a £10.1 billion (€11.4 billion) funding fund to assist church and clergy actions.

“Nothing we do, a whole lot of years later, will restore the lives of enslaved individuals,” the Commissioners wrote within the introduction to their report.

“However we are able to and can acknowledge the horror and disgrace of the Church’s function within the slave commerce, and thru responses, we’ll search to start to handle the injustices dedicated.”

The Church of England has beforehand apologized for its previous ties to slavery, as Britain faces the legacy of its colonial previous.

In 2020, the church referred to as it a “shame” that a few of its members had “actively profited” from slavery.