Written by on January 12, 2023

The Church of England has apologised over its historical role in the transatlantic slave trade during the 18th century describing it as a “shameful and horrific sin.”

“I am deeply sorry,” responded Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the spiritual leader of the Anglican Church. “The time has come to take action in response to this shameful past.”

The Church Commissioners of England was established in 1948, in part with a donation from a fund dating back to Queen Anne in 1704(the eighteenth century) intended to help the poorest clergy.

The report reveals that this fund had invested “significant amounts” in the South Sea Company, which traded in African slaves. It also received donations from people involved in the slave trade and plantation economy.

“The Church Commissioners are deeply sorry for their predecessors’ ties to the transatlantic slave trade,” the organization said in a statement.

The organization has pledged a fund of 100 million pounds (113.1 million euros) over the next nine years, which will run till 2032, for “a better and fairer future for all.”

It is hoped that the funding will help to commence further research into the church’s slavery connections and be used to positively impact communities where slavery had a major effect.

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