USPG welcomes The Church Commissioners response to historic slavery links

First published on: 17th January 2023

USPG were present yesterday, Wednesday 11th January, as the Church Commissioners announced the creation of an “impact investment fund” of investment, research and engagement worth £100 million in order to mitigate the lasting impact of their fund’s connection with the slave trade. 

This comes following a programme of research that has analysed some of the historic connections between the church’s investment fund and slavery. Queen Anne’s Bounty, a predecessor to the Church Commissioners’ endowment fund, had links with transatlantic chattel slavery. You can read the full report here

Alongside the unreserved apology issued from The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend Justin Welby who is also Chair of The Church Commissioners, the fund will be used overseas to provide grants to “address some of the past wrongs” of their, and the Church of England’s, links to the slave trade. 

A new body within the Church of England will be formed during 2023 with significant membership from communities impacted by historic slavery to help manage the fund. This group will work with the Church Commissioners on listening, shaping and delivering the response and ensuring accountability.

Duncan Dormor, Chief Executive of USPG who was present at the launch of the report said:

We strongly welcome this reflective and honest report from The Church Commissioners. Within the Church of England, there are many institutions, including USPG, which were deeply involved or implicated in the transport and enslavement of Africans. We all need to face the full reality of our past.”

“It is encouraging that the Commissioners and The Church of England have created this fund in order to enable and hopefully create steps towards healing, whilst continuing deeper conversations and thinking throughout the Church and Anglican Communion around how the actions of the past continue to have lasting impacts throughout individuals, families and communities today.”

“USPG have been deeply committed to our own work on identifying and acknowledging our shameful links to slavery in the past (read more here ) for several years – with our understanding that the work and reparations we make cannot simply be just financial. One of the main aims of our organisation is re-thinking mission and this impacts the approach we take towards all our work. We look forward to sharing, thinking with and supporting The Church Commissioners and The Church of England on this critical work in the near future.”


Learn More 

To see a small selection of source material relating to the Codrington Plantation and other early documents of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel click here  

Read On Propagating Christian Slavery - Dr Jo Sadgrove