Clergy Membership of BNP

The Church of England at its General Synod Tuesday 10th February 2009 carried a Private Member's Motion moved by Ms Vasantha Gnanadoss that the Church develops a policy prohibiting its clergy and lay employees from membership of far right hate groups such as the British National Party, and thus protecting its identity as a genuinely Christian body open to all people.

This long awaited decision empowers the Church now to develop such a policy. Immediately it represents a triumph for black and minority ethnic clergy and members and all those who for so long wanted the Church to send a clear and strong signal that racism and hatred are incompatible with the Christian Gospel and would not be tolerated in any form. Where clergy or laity are tempted to build alliances with groups such as the BNP, perhaps by attitude generally or in response to current economic hardships, this decision should serve as a sober reminder of that 'hate ever kills, love never dies' (Ghandi). When it arrives, the policy should represent a major step by which the C-of-E moves from mere statements to actively and overtly valuing diversity, and a judicious stride for genuine unity across its multi-ethnic makeup.

CEC-CCME Integration

Churches' Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and Conference of European Churches (CEC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding in Vienna, Austria, November 2007, as a basis for the merger of the two organisations.

Equality in Church Life

Equality and ethnic diversity in mainstream church life in Britain has been a long standing problem. Though there has been some progress over the years, minority ethnic acceptance and participation at all levels in many respects remain a challenge to church and society.