Black aspiring pastor rejected the apology

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Augustine Tanner-Him(Photo: Augustine Tanner-Ihm)

A black pastor who was rejected by a curatorial post because the parish was "monochrome white working class" criticized an apology from the bishop and the diocese of St. Alban.

Augustine Tanner-Ihm, an Anglican professor studying at Durham University, applied for a curatorial position in the diocese earlier this year, but received an email rejection letter telling him that it was "not worth it, to have a conversation "with the community.

"We are not sure whether there is sufficient agreement between you and the special requirements of this article," says the email.

"The community's population is a monochrome white working class that you may feel uncomfortable with."

The sender of the letter, who was not named, has since apologized to Mr. Tanner-Ihm: "I quickly recognized and regretted my poor choice of words, and I am very sorry that what I said, Mr. Tanner-Ihm It was careless, thoughtless and hasty and I still regret my choice of words. "

The diocese of St. Alban also apologized "unrestrictedly and unrestrictedly" to Mr. Tanner-Ihm "for the damage done to him".

In a separate letter of apology, the Bishop of St. Alban, Dr. Alan Smith, the diocese was determined "to increase and increase the number of BAME candidates for the ministry and to involve BAME people in the churches, chaplains and schools here." ".

He continued: "We were one of the first dioceses to conduct an unconscious bias training for all clergy in 2018. In March 2019, the diocesan synod, the elected governing body of the diocese, heard a presentation: & # 39; BAME people in the diocese celebrate and include & # 39;. "

In conclusion, he said that the fight against racism needs to be improved.

"Racism is deeply rooted in every part of society, including the Church, and we all have a lot to do to counter it," he said.

"This incident and the injuries we caused are helping to raise our awareness of the need for improvement. We wish Augustine all the best in his search for a curia and in his future service."

But Mr. Tanner-Ihm criticized the apologies and wrote on Twitter on Friday: "Apologies for & # 39; wrong wording & # 39; are not an excuse. It would have been kind to send this to me before a press release."

His tweet led to further criticism of the diocese for dealing with the controversy.

Anglican ordinance Hannah Malcolm said, "The whole thing is a terrible example of how not to apologize."

Matthew White, pastor at St. Peter's Church in Chertsey, said it was "terrible".

Given the recent criticism on Twitter, a spokesman for the St. Alban diocese made it clear that the letter of apology was sent to Mr. Tanner-Ihm in February. At that point the bishop also wrote to him, "regretted the need that Augustine had been." caused".

The bishop also said in his letter: "I am pleased to confirm my personal commitment and that of my staff to the growth and flourishing of BAME candidates for the ministry and involvement of BAME in churches, ministers and schools here." "

The spokesman added, "The bishop reiterates our unconditional apology to Augustine Tanner-Ihm for the offensive words in the December 2 email sent to him by a diocesan officer regarding his investigation into a curia."

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