Anglican Minority Ethnic Network
AMEN is an independent group promoting the presence and participation of Minority Ethnic Anglicans in all structures of our church in the service of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Independent” conveys the idea that the Group is not part of the formal structure of the Church of England; the Group will work with and has the blessing of CMEAC, but is not formally part of CMEAC. The sense that the Group will promote minority ethnic participation in “all” structures is also important, although particular attention would be paid to participation in senior leadership. Finally, it is importance to us to emphasise that what we do is not just for our self interest, but for the “service of the Gospel”.
The Latimer Declaration
Concerned about the low number of black and minority ethnic (BAME) people in the leadership of the Church of England and the adverse effect this is having on the mission of the Church, we, the Anglican Minority Ethnic Network (AMEN), declare our commitment and support for the following:
1. To work for a church that reflects the cultural and ethnic diversity of today’s England in its life and mission; a Church where all have the opportunity to play a full part.
2. Each diocese should develop clear, time-bound strategy for increasing BAME participation in ministry and leadership, with clear lines of accountability.
3. Action is taken at the Diocesan and national levels to actively encourage and seek BAME applications for senior clergy posts.
4. Action is taken at Diocesan and national levels to promote and encourage BAME vocations to ordained and lay leadership.
5. Generic and bespoke leadership training and development are made available for BAME Clergy.
6. Cathedrals are encouraged to ensure that BAME people are given a high profile at key events.
7. Unconscious Bias training is given to the senior clergy in every Diocese. That this training should then be extended more widely across each diocese as appropriate.
8. Effective statistics on BAME issues, such as clergy application, appointments and resignations are collected and used to inform policy, review targets and measure progress.
9. That AMEN is taken as a reference point, along with other relevant bodies, by Dioceses and national Church bodies on the issue of the participation of minority ethnic people in the C of E.
10. AMEN will work with Committee for Minority Ethnic Anglican Concerns (CMEAC) and Turn Up the Volume (TUTV) and other groups/bodies with similar aims to encourage and support the above goals.
AMEN was formalised in January 2016 from two groups with very similar aims, Latimer Group and AMEN CofE.
Latimer Group grew out of a Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Conference that took place in June 2015. The conference, which was organised by the Diocese of London had representatives from Chelmsford, Rochester, and Southwark. It was felt that in order to carry forward many of the goals identified at the Conference, a group needed to be formed which is made up minority ethnic clergy from the various diocese. This event took place at Latimer in Buckinghamshire and through prayerful discernment, the group thus formed took the name LATIMER GROUP.
AMENCofE was formed in 2014 by a group of Anglicans, in training at Rippon College Cuddesdon, who were concerned about Church’s attitude towards inclusiveness and diversity. Following a day-conference in June 2014 for people in training from across the country and the realisation of the need to work together to make the Church of England visibly inclusive and a better reflection of the multicultural and multiethnic character of the country today, the network, AMENCofE, was formed. The network established a social media presence through which many people followed its activities.
The group resulting from the coming together of the Latimer Group and AMENCofE adopted the name AMEN and is in the process of adopting a set of statements called the Latimer Declaration. These statements (given on this page) capture the resulting group’s long term goal.
Photo: The group that met in Latimer in 2015
We are grateful to God for all that he is doing. It is always important to bear in mind that we are doing all this because we love our Church.
At a time when many church denominations are growing, we cannot idly watch ours continue to shrink. We believe strongly that the changes we are advocating, namely, increased participation of minority ethnic people in the leadership of the Church of England, is essential for the growth and wider mission of the C of E.
We can expect that our work could be misunderstood or misrepresented from time to time, but with the help of God and motivated by the love he has given us for the Church of England, we will persevere.