South London bishop pledges support for George Floyd protesters

South  London’s Anglican bishop has pledged his support for protests at the death of George Floyd in America.

The Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun has joined with the Archdeacon of Croydon, The Venerable Dr Rosemarie Mallett and leaders of his diocese to send a message of support to angry communities.

They have declared: Our churches are closed, our hearts are open #BlackLivesMatter.

Regional leaders of the diocese have backed the statement, including chairs of Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns Committees (MEACC) in the diocese and sent media messages in a joint platform.

They include chairs the Revds Cordella Dawson and Darius Weithers of the Croydon, the
Revds Stanley Njoka and Patrick Eggleston of Woolwich; and The Revd Funke Ogbede and Mr Michael Phillips, of Kingston.

They each took a photograph of themselves holding a sign saying ‘Our churches are closed, our hearts are open #BlackLivesMatter’. These have been made into a photo which has been tweeted out.

Bishop Christopher said: “We wanted to stand in solidarity with those who are lamenting, praying and protesting about the death of Mr George Floyd in Minnesota.

“We hope that, by sending out this photographic statement of our firm belief that Black Lives Matter, we will encourage others in the Diocese and more widely to stand firmly with those who will mark next Monday 8 June which is two weeks to the day since George Floyd was killed.

“Racism is a blight on so many people’s lives and the Diocese of Southwark, working through its MEACC, is committed to challenging and eradicating racism in all its forms.”

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