- The following statement was released by The Anglican Church of Bermuda on Wednesday, June 3, 2020…
At a time when we as a country honour the life and mourn the death of a fighter for racial equality, Dr. Eva Hodgson, we also recognise that her work remains unfinished.
We stand in solidarity with all those who condemn the innocent murder and mistreatment of so many people of colour which we recognise is just the tip of a history of exclusion and injustice wrought over centuries.
The Anglican Church of Bermuda wishes to publicly state and affirm the words spoken by our leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who, with Archbishop of York John Sentamu, writes:
Recent events in the United States of America have once again drawn public attention to the ongoing evil of white supremacy. Systemic racism continues to cause incalculable harm across the world. Our hearts weep for the suffering caused – for those who have lost their lives, those who have experienced persecution, those who live in fear.
God’s justice and love for all creation demands that this evil is properly confronted and tackled. Let us be clear: racism is an affront to God. It is born out of ignorance and must be eradicated. We all bear the responsibility and must play our part to eliminate this scourge on humanity.
As Dr Martin Luther King Jr said, ‘In a real sense, we are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Therefore, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’
We pray that God’s abounding wisdom, compassion and love will guide leaders across the world to forge a better society.”
In response, we recognise that the work is unfinished in our own community. As a church we recognise that our history has included times of oppression and collusion with power structures that were racist. We also acknowledge we have not done all that we can to correct oppression.
As a gesture of our desire to work to eradicate this evil within Bermuda, those Anglican clergy that are physically able to do so will be joining in the march on Sunday afternoon under the banner of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and inviting all our members to participate in solidarity in this step towards awareness and fairness.
We do this in recognition that all are made in the image of God; that Jesus Christ died to breakdown all barriers that exit between us, and that when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Church bringing Pentecost, the same spirit manifested in all people – speaking to each in their native tongue and uniting them in one family.
We want to do our best to seek unity, to work for reconciliation, to fight for justice as one body, united in Christ. As a multi-racial church we aim to be a place where all are shown the love of God and welcomed as part of his family and we also seek to take concrete steps to ensure a more just society – where all people have a right to be heard and to have their personhood valued equally.
As part of that we also undertake to listen, love and lament with those who suffer and to repent of our silence which can appear to reflect lack of compassion, courage and conviction to take a stand. This is not the end of the conversation we need to be having in our homes, in our churches and across our island. We want to hear your voices, we are listening.
All of this is written with hope for a better, more just, equal and united community, praying for God’s strength, healing and blessing.
- Signed: The Rt Revd Nicholas Dill, Bishop of Bermuda, Archdeacon Andrew Doughty, Canon Norman Lynas, Canon John Stow, Canon Ant Pettit, Archdeacon Emeritus Dr Arnold Hollis, Revd Tom Slawson, Revd Jon Connell, Revd Jamaine Tucker, Revd Gavin Tyte, Bishop Ewen Ratteray, Revd Don Moore, Revd Carl Williams