12 Jun 2020

Diocese in Europe comes together in prayer for racial justice


The Diocese in Europe came together in prayer for racial justice today, following the death of an African American, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, USA.  Mr Floyd died on 25 May after being pinned to the ground by a white police officer who placed his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds.

This was a short service of prayer, scripture, silence of 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and blessing, in solidarity with BAME communities around the world. It was led by our Bishops together with BAME champions in the Diocese, The Revd Augustine Nwaekwe, Chaplain for Ostend & Bruges, and The Revd Smitha Prasadam, Chaplain for St Alban's Church Copenhagen (with Aarhus).

Bishop David said:

“Across the world people have gathered in the hope that this death will be a catalyst for lasting change. Our gathering today is in this spirit. Brothers and sisters, at the heart of the Gospel is the inclusion of all races and peoples in the Kingdom of God. Racism is thus a blasphemy against God, who creates all men and women with equal dignity. It has no place in our world, and certainly no place in the hearts of Christians. Yet, we know that racism and injustice persist in our communities, and even in our churches. 

Our gathering is deliberately on a Friday and at the hour on when our Lord hung on the cross, as we pray for healing, reconciliation, and justice in our broken world.”

There was a reading from the Gospel according to St Luke: The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk 10.25-37).  

This was followed by a deep silence together for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. During this time a thought-provoking series of images was shown in a video montage, with “8:46” emblazoned on each frame.  




Over 150 clergy and laity joined the virtual service on Zoom with participants invited to bring a candle as a visible commitment to racial justice.  For the first time, to enable more people to join in prayer, this pan-Diocesan service was live-streamed on YouTube.  Over 100 people did so, from far and wide across the world, including Rio de Janeiro.

You can view the Order of Service here and the 8 mins 46 secs video, now posted on our Diocese in Europe YouTube Channel. A video of the whole service is also planned.

Watch this space also for a published interview conducted this week with our two BAME champions in the Diocese. 



George Floyd:  Lorie Schaull (Flickr Creative Commons)

The Angry Christ by Lino Pontebon