Today Richard Reddie, the Director of Justice and Inclusion at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) is focusing on the tragic murder of Stephen Lawrence back in 1993. Although the event today is focusing on the murder of Stephen as the text explains, his murder took place in April and indeed that is the time when the Nation focuses on the murder. However those of us in Churches do have a focus today. Richard states the following comment in his website which is available here and can be read below. My own experience of the death of Stephen Lawrence includes the follow up by Sir William Macpherson who reported after the Steven Lawrence murder and created a challenge on the Police Service to start a process that created a genuine partnership with all sections of the community, encouraging the active involvement of people from diverse groups. This led to the establishment of the Independent Advisory Groups, known as IAGs, have evolved to facilitate this engagement and it can be read in this document. I was invited to take part in the IAG for Brighton & Hove Police in 2004 so that was 11 years after Stephen’s death. I am still involved in IAGs for both Brighton and Hove and also Sussex which I am Chair of and I would encourage people to get involved in each of the Police settings. Meanwhile here is the call from Richard for today.
But let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream!
22 April 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of the racist killing of Black teenager, Stephen Lawrence, in Eltham, southeast London. In many respects, Racial Justice Sunday is one of the many legacies of Stephen Lawrence’s life. As such, in marking RJS, churches are remembering a young man who in life aspired to be an architect, but whose legacy has seen him become an architect for justice, equality, dignity and unity.
This anniversary is a key moment for church and society on these islands. Stephen’s killing was very much Britain’s ‘George Floyd moment’ as it clearly revealed the ugly face of British racism, in terms not only of the hatred of those who took this young man’s life, but also of the institutional variety that characterised the appalling investigation into his killing. Akin to all such tragedies, it is a moment for reflection which will enable us to assess what, if any, progress has been made since that tragedy.