Diocese of Chichester

Racial Justice Sunday 12 February

Racial Justice Sunday is for all churches to reflect on the importance of racial justice, to give thanks for the gifts and beauty of human diversity, and to commit to end racism and acts of discrimination.

12 feb 2023. 12:52 p.m.


12 feb 2023. midnight

Why the church is talking about Racial justice - and why we are inviting you to come along to the services on Racial Justice Sunday

Prophets of the Old Testament times had spoken about justice and peace many years ago. For them, there can be no real peace without justice. We, by and large, agree that minority ethnic individuals and groups have been sadly treated unjustly in the past decades and centuries. The church longs to be a model for justice and peace. Following the example of the prophets, the church today fights for racial justice and gives a voice to the victims of racism.

The church, by definition, is emphatically inclusive because ‘God so loved the world’ is the verse. It is inclusive in both its reception and devotion. This is also central to Christian faith and practice because Jesus died on the cross and rose again for all – ‘all’ being the operative word. The simple point - a profound perception as well – is that race or anything else should not be an impediment to our belonging together as the Church, the body of Christ.

In St Paul’s words, “For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in the one Spirit, we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and we were all made to drink of one Spirit … If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honoured, all rejoice together with it., all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it.” (I Corinthians 12. 12ff)

Baptism marks the beginning of being part of the body of Christ - the Church. When we seek racial justice, we seek to protect the unity in diversity of the body of Christ. Therefore, the church talks about and works for racial justice passionately.

To mark Racial Justice Sunday which falls on 12th February 2023, in a prayerful and meaningful way, two worship services have been organised within the diocese. The first one will be at St John’s, Crawley at 3 pm and the second one will be at St Peter’s, Brighton at 6.30 pm. We invite everyone who can to join us to come along to one or both of the services. At the two services we will acknowledge the pain of the victims of racism and pray for them. This is an opportunity to celebrate diversity and to show our solidarity with minority ethnic groups and individuals at worship. At these services, we will seek God's strength to continue the work for racial justice too.

Bishop Ruth will be leading a Racial Justice Service on the 12th February at St John's, Crawley at 3 pm and Bishop Will is leading a service at St Peter's Church Brighton at 6.30pm - Guest speaker is Dr Leroy Logan MBE. All welcome.