On 28th October 2023, a Seminar for promoting racial and cultural inclusion in our schools and parish communities was successfully held at Amigo Hall, St. Georges Cathedral, London. Here are some exciting moments which took place during that event.
The well-attended seminar attracted interests from within the Archdiocese of Southwark, other dioceses in England and Wales as well as other participants in Europe and Africa. The seminar witnessed two modes of participation, in person at Amigo Hall at St Georges Cathedral and via video conference.
This seminar, the first of its kind in recent times, boldly addressed the issues of possible threats of racial and diversity problems in a multicultural and ecclesiastical establishment in the RC Archdiocese of Southwark. Our archdiocese covers most areas of South East London, Kent and its coastal towns. It was no surprise therefore that the event attracted a wide attendance, born out of the real desire to address issues in this area and a willingness to engage in the various ways of how they can be overcome.
In his welcome speech, Most Reverend John Wilson, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Southwark, highlighted the continuous need to work together and to make sure that “there is no place for racism in the archdiocese, whether in the Church, in our communities or society at large”. He explained the steps he took, especially after the fateful story and aftermath of the ordeal of George Floyd Jr. in October 2020, to carry out a first-hand, fact finding mission regarding racial intolerance, discrimination and the need for inclusion in the archdiocese.
According to the Archbishop, in his interaction with young people from the archdiocese, and his resolution to “listen, reflect and act”, he “heard their distressing experiences of racism today, first hand”. He further acknowledged, that even in the diverse culture and communities of the archdiocese, racism continues to blight our society.