Diocesan Synod Presidential Address

Bishop's Presidential Address focuses on Windrush and BAME issues in the Church

On 23 June, the Diocesan Synod met at Sir Joseph Williamson’s Mathematical School, Rochester.

The session included discussion on the Dignity at Work Policy, a presentation of the 2017 Finance and Accounts and a new Annual Review which will be launched around the Diocese in the next few weeks.

There was also a session of group work, where Diocesan Synod were invited to share their understanding of the work of  the Diocesan Support teams.

Presidential address

Bishop James gave the Presidential address in which he reflected on the recent 70th Anniversary of the arrival at Tilbury Docks of the MV Empire Windrush. He shared some of his experience as a vicar in Birmingham, where a number of the congregation  were from the first generation of migrants who came here in the 1940s and 1950s, and their impact on the community.

Welcoming the announcement of the annual Windrush Day, Bishop James said that as well as a time of celebration it would also need to be a day for the Church to reflect on its response to those who came:

'Windrush Day may be billed as day of thanksgiving; but I think it needs also to be a day of penitence for the exclusion, whether explicit or unconscious, which has been the experience of far too many Christians migrating here from other places – and of their children and grandchildren as well.'

Continuing challenge today
He continued by looking at the challenge that faces the Church today as it looks to bring those from BAME backgrounds, in as full a way possible, into the life of the Church: 'Today’s picture includes some encouragements, but also some very clear continuing challenges...there is no reason for letting up because I am clear that the barriers still exist, the bias, even if unconscious, is real, and we have a long way to go before we reflect the vision of Revelation which we heard read a few minutes ago.'

You can read the Bishop's full address here.

Copyright 2015 © The Diocese of Rochester. Registered Office: St Nicholas’ Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1SL. Registered Charity No. 249339 The Rochester Diocesan Society and Board of Finance is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No. 140656