Churches in the UK and Ireland have learned a lot about culture and diversity, and still have a lot to learn and put into practice.
Wycliffe’s focus is on helping churches in the UK and Ireland partner with and serve communities around the world as they translate the Bible into – and engage with it in – their own languages. Migration, however, means that there are well over 300 languages spoken in the UK and Ireland.
Here are a few great resources.
In From Lament to Action (press release and full report) – The Church of England acknowledges historic failures and institutional racism, setting out 47 specific actions. This is a sobering read in which 25 previous reports were considered and listed alongside 160 earlier recommendations. A final statement on the press release states:
‘One of the barriers to inclusion or continued participation in the Church of England for those from UKME/GMH and other backgrounds has been the challenge of “cultural assimilation” into the Church, where there is perceived to be little or no room for cultural expression outside of a predominant culture which is predominantly white and middle class.’
From Racial Justice to Pentecost People – the Baptist Union has developed a rich set of resources in recent years gathered under a heading of Faith and Society. In the section on Justice and Race are 14 valuable resources, including a Racial Justice Reading List (updated September 2020), An Analysis of a Multicultural Church (2012), Multiethnic Church (2015) and Pentecost People (2017).
The following books have helpful previews on Amazon, which may leave you wanting to read more:
Training, research and networking
morethanacolour.org – headed by Dr Krish Kandiah, MoreThanAColour provides training for both church and workplace through a wide range of online seminars.
accentism.org – a secular research and story gathering project exploring linguistic discrimination – ‘any situation in which an individual feels as though they have been unfairly judged, treated, or commented on because of the way they speak, write, and communicate more broadly’.
bilingualism-matters.org – ‘Using more than one language is often undervalued or misunderstood.’ Find out more, and perhaps discuss issues with your own church and network.
globalconnections.org.uk/content/diaspora-ministry – introducing Ian and Anne-Marie Prescott, Global Connections’ new ‘Catalysts for Diaspora Ministries’
An Intercultural Church Leadership community of practice has launched for alumni of All Nations or Redcliffe College. All Nations also runs short courses on Multicultural Ministry and Multicultural Worship.