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Marking the 50th anniversary of the Programme to Combat Racism

Marking the 50th anniversary of the Programme to Combat Racism

WCC-sponsored world consultation on racism was held in Notting Hill, London at 1969.
Photo: WCC

07 June 2019

A special event in London was held to remember the 50 years that have passed since the World Council of Churches Programme to Combat Racism began in May 1969.

At the Notting Hill Methodist Church, a special service was held, then a plaque was unveiled and took its place on the wall of what is now a housing complex built on the site of the former Denbigh Road Methodist Hall, in which the original consultation creating the Programme to Combat Racism took place.

Rev. David Haslam, who has been an activist since the beginning of the Programme to Combat Racism, spoke at the commemorative occasion, recalling the courage on the part of those who started the programme.

“That approach is urgently needed today, as we confront the crises of inequality, climate and migration while the rich hide their money, the digital companies avoid their tax, and refugees drown in the Mediterranean and perhaps before long in the English Channel,” said Haslam.

Lord Paul Boateng, formerly the vice moderator of the Programme to Combat Racism, and subsequently a British government official, also spoke at the event, saying: “Racism was a problem then, it is a problem now. It just appears in different forms in every generation. It is essential that the churches continue to challenge racism in whatever form it appears, and it is certainly sadly and too widely visible in Europe today.”

Churches overcoming racism

Forum asks: “How are churches accountable for racism?” (WCC press release 10 May 2019)

Forum, photo exhibition to portray complexity of racism (WCC press release 08 May 2019)

Photo exhibition: "Combating Racism - an ecumenical legacy"