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About Us

AMEN:
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.

Being “Independent”, the Group is not part of the formal structure of the Church of England. However, the the Group works with the Racial Justice Unit (RJU) and and enjoys the support of CMEAC.

 

The sense that the Group will promote minority ethnic participation in “all” structures is also important, although particular attention is given to participation in leadership at the different levels of the Church. 

 

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.

 

History

 

AMEN was formed in in January 2016 with the merger of two groups with very similar aims and focus on racial Justice, the Latimer Group and the AMENCofE. The Latimer Group was made up of Black, Asian Minority Ethnic people from the diocese of London, Chelmsford, Rochester and Southwark who had a conference in 2015 at Buckinghamshire, and after a time of prayerful discernment, the group was formed.

 

The AMENCofE comprised of group of Anglicans who were training at Ripon College Cuddesdon, and being from the same alma mata, were able to recognise the values they shared on inclusivity and diversity. A 0ne-day conference was held in June 2014 which attracted colleagues from other training institutions across the country, all of whom shared same values, to deliberate and strategize on working with the Church of England to be more multicultural and multiethnic in nature and character. This led to the formation of AMEN.

 

AMEN became an independent network with a strong voice within the Church of England and in 2020, the group had representatives who were part of the From Lament to Action anti-racism task force which was commissioned by the archbishops to look into issues around racial justice within the Church and to make recommendations that could serve as drivers of culture change.

 

The recommendations contained in the report led to the constitution of the archbishops’ commission for racial justice and the formation of the Racial Justice Unit. It is noteworthy to mention that AMEN had an effective voice in the deliberations which led to the establishment of these 3 consequential bodies and currently works very closely with the racial justice unit.

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AMEN members in November 2023

Therefore,

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.

 

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