Leeds church leaders support Black Lives Matter letter after George Floyd killing

A Black Lives Matter placard at a protest in Lancaster last week.A Black Lives Matter placard at a protest in Lancaster last week.
A Black Lives Matter placard at a protest in Lancaster last week. | other
Church leaders from across Leeds have said  'Silence is no longer an option: Black Lives Matter ' following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, America.

Dozens of church leaders have written open letter including Bishop Tony Parry, Canon Sam Corley and Minister Graham Brownlee.

They wrote in the letter: "As Christian leaders in Leeds we know that silence is no longer an option: Black Lives Matter.

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"Following the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis we make it clear that we are appalled by the violence committed against a human being created in the image of God.

"We are shocked too by the incendiary language, poor judgement and violence against peaceful protest that has followed in the wake of George’s death.

"The Christian scriptures contain a vision of the justice that Christ established through his life, death and resurrection: He has brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly; he has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty.

"In contrast to this, we recognise that racism is embedded in many institutions and cultures – including our own. For too long we have enjoyed the comforts of being among the powerful and rich, complicit in injustice and in perpetuating prejudice and racism.

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"We recognise that we have allowed ourselves to become estranged from God’s heart and from the people he loves – including black people in our

own churches and communities.

"We recognise we need to listen to and learn from our black sisters and brothers. We need to reflect, repent and act differently across our city to forge together a better future where all have a voice, are able to contribute and live free from fear and oppression.

"We wish to build relationships in our city so we are not just helping people different from us address problems, but finding common cause with partners and friends to forge a better future together.

"We hope that through our listening we can shape the policies, practices and priorities of the institutions, churches, business and services of our city.

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"May the Spirit of Christ, poured out on the nations of the world at Pentecost, transform our hearts, renew our minds and lead us forwards in humility and love."

The letter is supported by:

Bishop Tony Parry, Senior Pastor and District Bishop, New Testament Church of God

The Right Reverend Paul Slater, Anglican Area Bishop for the City of Leeds

The Reverend Graham Brownlee, co-Minister Moortown Baptist Church

The Reverend Canon Sam Corley, Rector of Leeds

The Reverend Lizzy Woolf, Rector St George’s Leeds

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The Reverend Shona Shaw, co-Minister Moortown Baptist Church,

The Reverend Mark Harwood, Minister Rosco Methodist Church

The Reverend Joanna Seabourne, Area Dean Headingley

The Reverend Dr Peter Morden, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church

Steve Reilly, Senior Pastor Bridge Community Church

Chris & Gosia Denham, Lead Pastors, Hope City Church

David and Alison Flowers, Senior Pastors, Leeds Vineyard

Matt Hatch, Senior Pastor. Mosaic Church

The Reverend James Barnett, Vicar, St Matts, Leeds

Chris Frost, Lead Elder, Gateway Church

Mark Kelly, Senior Leader, Freedom Church

Dave and Abs Niblock, Pastors, Life Church, Leeds

Dr Helen Reid, Director of Leeds Church Institute

The Reverend Angela Hughes, Minister, Stainbeck United Reformed Church

John Battle, Chair of Diocese of Leeds (Roman Catholic), Justice and Peace Commission

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Trish Sandbach, Vice-Chair, Diocese of Leeds (Roman Catholic), Justice and Peace Commission

The Reverend Dr Peter Morden, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Headingley

Joe Burns, Treasurer, Diocese of Leeds (Roman Catholic), Justice and Peace Commission

The Reverends Simon and Gladys Mudada, House of Prayer Leeds, Chapeltown

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Toyosi Ilori, Senior Pastor, Ministry / Church, Amazing Life Church

Pastor Ebenezer Aryee, Good Shepherd Church

Apostle and Pastor Antony and Faith Tembo, Hospital Chaplain and Gateway Church

Denver Thompson, Pastor, New Life Church, Yeadon

Hilary Willmer, Chair of Leeds Christian Community Trust

Paul Lancaster, New Life Church, Otley and Hope for the Nations

The Reverend Dave Young, Vicar, St Barnabas' Alwoodley & St Paul's Shadwell

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The Reverend Dr George Bailey, Oakwood Church and Gipton Methodist Church

The Reverend Rach Ward, Methodist Minister, Leeds South & West Circuit

The Reverend Godfrey Nicholson, Methodist Minister, Leeds South & West Circuit,

The Reverend Tanya Short, Methodist Minister, Leeds North & East

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The Reverend Jude Smith, Team Rector, Moor-Allerton and Shadwell

The Reverend Lindsay Pearson, Vicar, St. Mary’s Beeston

The Reverend Andrew Pearson, Venerable Bede, Wyther

The Reverend Jon Swales, Lighthouse Church, Leeds

The Reverend Dr Joseph D Cortis Coordinator for Caritas Leeds

The Reverends Olusola and Eunice Ransome-Kuti, The Amazing Grace Christian Centre

Seyi and Ranti Dasaolu, Pastors, In His Presence Four Square Church

The Reverend Clare Davison, Headingley URC

The Reverend Prof Jane de Gay, St Martin’s, Potternewton

The Reverend Geoff Ellis, West Park URC

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The Reverend Canon Kathryn Fitzsimons, Church of the Epiphany, Gipton and Oakwood Church

The Reverend Heston Groenewald, All Hallows, Hyde Park

The Reverend Simon Hall, Chapel Allerton Baptist Church and Revive Leeds

The Reverend Angela Hughes, Stainbeck URC

The Reverend Tony Lee, Cottingley URC

The Reverend Hannah Lievesley, St Chad’s, Far Headingley

The Reverend John Rogers, Holy Trinity Meanwood

The Reverend Sue Rusholme, St Matthew’s, Chapel Allerton.

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