Over $100M set aside by Church of England for slavery reparations 'not enough,' urged to give $1.3B

Report marks 'the beginning of a multi-generational response,' Justin Welby says

The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby | Lambeth Palace

The Church of England said it has accepted a recent report that calls on it to establish a £1 billion ($1.3 billion) fund in response to its historical ties to the Atlantic slave trade.

The report released Monday by an oversight group of independent advisers suggested that the Church of England's £100 million ($127 million) commitment to the "Fund for Healing, Repair and Justice" was not sufficient "relative either to the scale of the [commissioners'] endowment or to the scale of the moral sin and crime," according to The Guardian.

The report urged the Church of England to work together with other organizations to set up the hefty fund, which will be used worldwide to provide land grants and invest in black-owned businesses that focus on education, economic empowerment, and health outcomes, according to a statement from the Church of England.

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The report urged the CofE to speed up the timeline of the fund to make it accessible later this year, which is more quickly than the nine years initially planned.

It also called on the denomination to "fully acknowledge and apologize for the harms caused by its historic denial that black Africans are created in the image of God, for its deliberate actions to destroy diverse African religious belief systems and to facilitate work that builds the spiritual connection of Africa and the African diaspora with the Gospel and the diverse spiritual practices of African forebears."

The report is the result of an investigation that began last year and found that the CofE invested £406,942 (or approximately £724 million today) in the South Sea Company, which reportedly transported about 34,000 slaves in terrible conditions over 30 years.

A spokesperson for the CofE said it does not intend to balloon the fund to the recommended £1 billion but expressed hope that the initial £100 million would serve as a seed investment that will eventually grow, according to The Guardian.

Bishop Rosemarie Mallett, who chaired the group that made the report, said she hoped it would be "a catalyst to encourage other institutions to investigate their past and make a better future for impacted communities."

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, who is the spiritual head of the global Anglican Communion and apologized in 2022 for the Church of England's links to chattel slavery, praised the report as "the beginning of a multi-generational response" to the institution, which he denounced as "an appalling evil."

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests after George Floyd's death in 2020, the CofE examined its links with slavery, prompting Welby to call for all statues and memorials in churches and cathedrals linked to the slave trade to come down. His move was met with backlash from some Anglican clergy who maintained that such went against the Christian teaching that all are sinners.

"The statues need to be put in context," Welby said at the time. "Some will have to come down, some names will have to change. The church, goodness me, you just go round Canterbury Cathedral and there are monuments everywhere, or Westminster Abbey. We are looking at all that and some will have to come down."

Jon Brown is a reporter for The Christian Post. Send news tips to

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