Bristol church representatives come together to debate contested heritage

First published 29th April 2022

Our church representatives who have historical connections to the Transatlantic Slave Trade were invited to a meeting at Bristol Cathedral earlier this week to explore the issues and opportunities around contested heritage as it affects our church buildings and to also share experiences as we consider the next steps. 

The event was a great opportunity to come together and share ideas, look at the work the cathedral has started, give people the chance to ask questions and have an interesting debate as we begin to ask what needs to be done about heritage, monuments and legacies that have links to the slave trade.

Representatives from 11 churches across the diocese were welcomed by Archdeacon Neil Warwick who gave reassurance that it is better to be in the conversation knowing you will sometimes get things wrong, than not to be in the conversation at all. 

Revd Dr Cathy Okoronkwo, the Bishop’s Advisory on Racial Justice, spoke about what it might feel like for a Christian from African/Afro-Caribbean heritage to visit our buildings, or to be part of this family of churches. 

The Very Revd Mandy Ford, Dean of Bristol Cathedral, then highlighted the work that had been commissioned and will be on-going at the cathedral.

The meeting ended with suggestions for how this conversation might continue with a suggestion that some workshops for churches may be organised in the future so watch this space for more information!

Thank you to everyone who came along and joined in the debate and we look forward to future discussions!


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