29 September 2023, The Tablet

Promoting racial and cultural inclusion in the Catholic Church

Promoting racial and cultural inclusion in the Catholic Church

Racial Justice Sunday Celebration at St Georges Cathedral, 5 February 2023.
Archdiocese of Southwark

Canon Victor Darlington, Episcopal Vicar for the South East in the Archdiocese of Southwark, talks to Ruth Gledhill of The Tablet about racial justice in Southwark and the wider church. It comes on the eve of the Synod in Rome and as Canon Victor, Archbishop John Wilson and the archdiocese prepare for a seminar on 28 October on promoting racial and cultural inclusion in schools and communities.

Canon Darlington leads the Commissions for Promoting Racial Justice and Cultural Inclusion, Education and Caritas, Archdiocese of Southwark. The archdiocese covers some of the most racially diverse areas of the UK. In this podcast, Canon Darlington talks about some of the challenges involved, what the priorities are and his hopes for the future. 


Southwark’s day seminar is intended to advance the commitment to promote racial and cultural inclusion across the diocese.

Archbishop of Southwark John Wilson said, “Discrimination tragically continues to cast an ugly shadow, not just overseas but also on our own doorstep. There is no place for racism in our world, our society or our Church because the fundamental, God-given dignity of every person is non-negotiable”.

He added, “The racial and cultural diversity of people in the parishes and schools of our archdiocese is an immense and beautiful blessing. It is by the power of God that we are one in Christ in all our beautiful diversity. This seminar is an opportunity to celebrate our diversity and to explore ways of embedding racial and cultural inclusion in every part of our Archdiocese.”

Canon Darlington said, “Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has emphasised that racism is a grievous sin and that opposing it is a duty of every Christian. The Archdiocese’s Commission for Promoting Racial and Cultural Inclusion is working with energy and commitment to ensure that we are an actively anti-racist and welcoming diocese. The Church has a vital role to play in speaking out against racism. As people of faith, we must ensure that the light of Christ shines out from within us as we work to build an equal society.

“Every Catholic parish and school must aim to be a model of racial and cultural inclusion. This seminar will help to promote that objective. It will enable us to learn from the experience of people across our Archdiocese, both those who have suffered from racism and discrimination and those who are working to eliminate it. The emphasis of the seminar will be a strongly positive one as we explore and build on successful initiatives to promote inclusion in parishes and schools.”

Besides Archbishop Wilson, speakers will include Fr Richard Nesbitt, parish priest, Our Lady of Fatima Parish, White City, Susan Elderfield, lead for youth ministry, St Mary’s University, Twickenham, Nana Churcher, author of The Power of Your Words and Andrea Fernandes, co-chair of the racial and cultural inclusion group, St Margaret of Scotland Parish, Carshalton.

The Tablet podcasts are available on Apple and all major podcast apps.


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