Ghost Ship: Institutional Racism in the Church of England

Azariah France-Williams

Longlisted 2023
Published by SCM Press on 10 Jul 2020

The Church is very good at saying all the right things about racial equality. But the reality is that the institution has utterly failed to back up these good intentions with demonstrable efforts to reform. It is a long way from being a place of black flourishing. Through conversation with clergy, lay people and campaigners in the Church of England, A.D.A France-Williams issues a stark warning to the church, demonstrating how black and brown ministers are left to drown in a sea of complacency and collusion. While sticking plaster remedies abound, A.D.A France-Williams argues that what is needed is a wholesale change in structure and mindset. 

Unflinching in its critique of the church, Ghost Ship explores the harrowing stories of institutional racism experienced then and now, within the Church of England. Far from being an issue which can be solved by simply recruiting more black and brown clergy, says France-Williams, structural racism requires a wholesale dismantling and reassembling of the ship – before it is too late.

A.D.A France-Williams is priest in the Church of England in an urban parish which is a member of the HeartEdge church network. He has been a priest for over 10 years and holds a MPhil in theology as well as a Masters degree in Mission.

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