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Archbishop Howard Gregory calls for reconciliation in response to slavery reparations

Posted on: September 14, 2023 2:48 PM
The Codrington Reparations Project representatives.
Photo Credit: USPG

Archbishop Howard Gregory, Primate of the Church in the Province of the West Indies, welcomed Anglican Mission Agency, USPG’s (United Society Partners in the Gospel) announcement that it is committing £7 million GBP to Codrington, Barbados as part of a 10 to 15 year slavery reparations project. He said: “it is our hope that, through this reparations project, there will be serious reckoning with the history of the relationship between The Codrington Trust and USPG, but also a process of renewal and reconciliation that will be healing of the pain of the past.” 

USPG announced on Friday 8 September at a press conference in Barbados that it will be seeking to address the wrongs of their past by committing to a long-term project, “Renewal & Reconciliation: The Codrington Reparations Project” in partnership with Codrington Trust and the Church of the Province in the West Indies (CPWI), in Barbados. The work will include four areas in collaboration with the descendants of the enslaved; community development and engagement; historical research and education; burial places and memorialisation, and family research. USPG has pledged, in response to proposals that Codrington Trust has advanced, 18 million Barbadian dollars (£7 million GBP) to be spent in Barbados over the next 10 to 15 years to support this work. 

The Revd Duncan Dormor, General Secretary of USPG, said in a press statement: “USPG is deeply ashamed of our past links to slavery. We recognise that it is not simply enough to repent in thought and word, but we must take action, working in partnership with Codrington where the descendants of enslaved persons are still deeply impacted by the generational trauma that came from the Codrington Plantations.” 

USPG has long been aware of its disgraceful links to the slave trade. In 1710, The Society of the Propagation of the Gospel (former name) received a bequest from Sir Christopher Codrington for two plantations in Barbados. Between 1710 and 1838, SPG benefitted from the labour of enslaved persons on the Codrington Estate. This newly announced project in Barbados is part of USPG’s ongoing commitment to engaging critically with its shameful history. 

The project will begin from spring 2024.