The Church of England is silent for minutes to recollect victims of racism

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The Church of England observed a minute's silence during its national online service on Sunday to complain about the racism that the windrush generation and other black and ethnic minorities have experienced in the church and in the nation.

The service was led by Father Andrew Moughtin-Mumby, rector of St. Peter's Church in Walworth, southeast London, where black Anglicans were once not allowed.

He called racism a "stain on the soul of our church" and said "we also hurt Jesus" when we use racism or discrimination to hurt people.

Father Andrew, who was born in Jamaica, wore the special "Windrush Cope" during the service, which shows a photo montage that shows aspects of black history in Britain since the arrival of the Empire Windrush.

In his homily, Father Andrew mourned the deaths of George Floyd and other black men in police custody in both the United States and the United Kingdom for describing racism as one of three pandemics that are currently affecting the world. The other two are climate change and corona virus.

"All three pandemics primarily affect black and ethnic minorities around the world," he said.

The service took place on Monday before Windrush Day, the 72nd anniversary of The Empire Windrush's arrival at Tilbury Docks in East London.

The ship brought Jamaican and other British Commonwealth citizens from the West Indies to help rebuild Britain after World War II, but instead of being greeted, there was much hostility and racial discrimination.

"Many who came to England experienced terrible racism in society, but also in our parish churches, including here in St. Peter, where a very loyal family of Anglicans, originally from Barbados, literally saw the rector at the time entering St Peter were excluded from church because of the color of their black skin, "said Father Andrew.

"They were greeted in neighboring parishes and finally found a full reception here in St. Peter.

"But this racism is a stain on the soul of our church. And there is still racism in the church today, and it is a very serious illness and sin that I believe each of us is called to do, hard and urgent to end work. "

He went on to say that on the occasion of Windrush Day, the nation had to "complain about the terrible windrush scandal and" racism of the UK Home Office. "In the windrush scandal, members of the windrush generation were classified as illegal immigrants, which led to some have been deported or excluded from re-entry to the UK and have lost access to the NHS, apartments, bank accounts or driving licenses.

"Our complaint and grief should make us change something, build a better, more just church and world," added Father Andrew before leading the church in a minute's silence.

On Monday at 11 a.m., bishops, clergymen, cathedrals and parishes in the Church of England will observe a two-minute silence to lament the suffering of the windrush generation and broader issues of racism in society.

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