Church of England Diocese of Manchester St. Margaret, Whalley Range

Black Lives Matter

17 Jun 2020, 12:30 a.m.

St Margaret’s Church, Rufford Road, Whalley Range, Manchester, M16 8AE email - [email protected]

15th June 2020

Dear Mr President,

We are writing as we are deeply saddened by the coverage we have seen about the death of George Floyd. We are a Church community in inner city Manchester in the United Kingdom. We describe ourselves as a dynamic, creative, inclusive and diverse community. We like to challenge our own prejudices and expand our horizons beyond our own neighbourhood. Observing this deep injustice from afar has been extremely concerning for us.

Firstly, we are troubled by the death of George and the actions of the police themselves. Secondly, we are reminded by George’s death that this is not an isolated incident. We are aware of the long history of disproportionate violence and police brutality towards members of the black and ethnic minority communities in the United States. Figures show that between 2013 and 2019, 7666 individuals were killed by police in the United States. When will this stop? It is now 155 years since the slave trade was abolished, however the value base which treats black people as second class citizens is still alive and well. It is evident that systematic racism at the heart of one of the world’s, so called, leading nations is leading to deep division. This is happening at a time when globally we believe we should be working together to look for solutions to the many huge challenges currently facing humanity.

We are not seeking to simply point the finger as we are only too aware of the existence of racial inequality, institutional racism and discrimination in the UK at many levels.

We are horrified to see the response of the Trump administration in suppressing peaceful protests of people who are hurting emotionally, expressing the deep pain they are experiencing towards this very real injustice.

As our community reflects on this tragedy, we implore that you as a world leader and influencer of millions, also reflect and ask yourself questions about the way forward. From our point of view, this involves the use of positive, respectful language in describing those who protest and those who protect. How do you see the future of your country and people who are vulnerable? How can you turn this situation around not for your own political gain but for the best interests of all your people, to unite and not divide to promote peace and not stimulate violence?

Our Church community strives to enable all in our neighbourhood and beyond to live and breathe easier. We want to see world leaders do the same for those they were elected to lead. We are staggered to see breath stifled on so many levels. We are asking you to help the world to breathe once again.

Yours sincerely

Ian Harvey, PCC Secretary Lloyd Lauder, Church Warden On behalf of the congregation of St Margaret’s Church, Whalley Range, Manchester