October is Black History Month in the UK
The theme for Black History Month 2024 focuses on “African Americans and the Arts”.
Perry Rise Baptist Church Covenant for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation
We at Perry Rise Baptist Church trust in the grace of God that overflows with mercy and love.
We acknowledge the false and negative concepts of race and systemic racism constructed and built into our nation and its institutions, sustained and perpetuated over many centuries.
We acknowledge with sadness the complicity of the church and so with God’s help we commit to transforming ourselves and our world.
Recognising that God shows no partiality, made us all in His image and died for us all, we confess:
- That race is still used to advantage some and disadvantage others, consciously or otherwise, in all aspects of life.
- That we tend to focus only on individual prejudices, rather than striving towards just and fair systems.
- That we have contributed to the legacy and effects of racism through our involvement and indifference.
- We affirm that overcoming racism is a priority for our church and for all Christians.
Together we repent and ask God’s forgiveness for all our failings. We recognise our continual need to ask for forgiveness and to forgive one another.
As Jesus did not count equality with God as something to be exploited, but humbled himself:
- We commit to a journey of listening, learning, and walking in humility towards a better understanding of the evils of racism and to battle together to end it.
- We recognise that, being stronger together, we will challenge racial injustice and discrimination in ourselves and our church.
- We will be tolerant, understanding and accepting of others’ perceptions and experiences which may differ from our own.
- We affirm that as we journey together, there is no one to whom we can say ‘We have no need of you,’ nor should there be any group without visibility or a voice.
We appeal to all, brothers and sisters in Christ, do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern the will of God.
With God’s help:
- We covenant continually to learn and speak the truth about racism through investing in racial awareness education and working towards racial justice and equity for all.
- We will structure the common life and leadership of our fellowship to embody the gifts of all.
- We will commit to work actively for inclusion and fairness in all our endeavours and so participate in transforming a world of injustice into one of unity.
In doing all the above, we seek to reconcile ourselves to God and to each other.
We give thanks and praise to God for our redemption and the promise of the renewal of our life together as a church.
We, the people of Perry Rise Baptist Church, in the presence of God, most solemnly and joyfully affirm and enter into this covenant, as one body in Christ Jesus.
In the name of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, Amen
Approved at a PRBC members’ meeting on 29 September 2021
The Racial Justice Advocacy Forum
The Racial Justice Advocacy Forum (RJAF) is an ecumenical Christian entity that seeks to speak prophetically on behalf of Black and Brown Christians to the government on racial injustice challenges and reparations.
In response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report (March 2021), this Forum seeks to make recommendations to help churches begin or continue engaging with racial injustice in the twenty-first century. To find out more, visit the Baptist Union website.
Black History Month
Black History Month (BHM) was first launched in the USA in February 1970. However, the precursor to BHM called ‘Negro History Week’ started in February 1926 thanks to the inspiration of Carter G Woodson (known by many as the ‘Father of Black History’.
BHM started in the UK in October 1987. In this month people in the UK annually recognise, share and celebrated African and Caribbean history and culture. It’s a time also to consider the significant contributions made by black people to world development.
Black History Month quiz
Statement from Perry Rise regarding George Floyd
The Leadership Team at Perry Rise Baptist Church are deeply saddened by the brutal killing of a Black Man (George Floyd) at the hands of White Police Officers in America.
The tragedy has emphasised the stark realities of racism and inequalities in our world. During the lockdown period (sparked by COVID-19) peoples’ eyes were opened to the true realities of black peoples’ daily struggles.
As we look outwards at what has taken place, each of us also need to look inwards, to challenge ourselves to ensure that we are always part of the solution by reaching out to those around us, challenging inequality, being respectful and empowering one another regardless of ethnicity.
We support the Black Lives Matter movement and believe that black people should be able to live and breathe equally. There is no place for racial injustice in our Church or society in the 21st century and we wholeheartedly condemn racism and inequality of all kinds.
Sincere condolences to George Floyds family, and other families who have lost loved ones, due to society’s injustice. May they all rest in eternal peace.
1 Corinthians 13:6-7 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Leadership Team and Pastor Dan Boakye
Message from the Baptist Union
The Baptist Union have made a number of responses and commitments on the death of George Floyd.
The inhumane and merciless brutality demonstrated towards George Floyd at the end of May 2020 was an appalling act of injustice. Baptists Together hold a common value; that we are a Movement which shares a hunger for God’s coming Kingdom and seeks to confront evil, injustice and hypocrisy and challenges worldly attitudes to power, wealth, status and security both within and beyond our Union.
There is more information the Baptist Union website.