For several years now, Black communities of the Caribbean, UK and the US have called for the legacies of the Transatlantic slave trade to be addressed, and it has been recognised by the UN.

CWM’s Legacies of Slavery (LOS) project addresses the roots of racialised inequalities and injustices today and owning that they lie in part in the rhetoric, praxis and fund raising of mission societies like CWM’s forebear London Missionary Society. LMS, with others, developed and perpetuated a racist colonial anthropology with which it recruited, made money and occupied White and Black minds, lands and bodies, dressing in in Christian vision.

Through four LOS hearings based in several countries in 2017 and 2018, stories of anguish during the transatlantic slave trade were both heard and acknowledged, with follow up recommendations submitted to the CWM Board that outline commitment towards financial reparation, among other initiatives.

CWM continues to pursue the legacies project work, following the Board’s commitment to address our complicity through acts of repentance and reparation.  The work focuses on these general areas:

  • Strategising and advocating the long-term scope of this work with the CWM Board and with member churches
  • Continuing scrutiny of the CWM archive
  • Critiquing Whiteness
  • Promoting Black critique
  • Extending and connecting the legacies work with regions beyond the geography of the Trans-Atlantic Slave trade

Work in progress:

  • CWM Act of Repentance and Apology on 23 Aug 2021

The Board has set this date for CWM’s act of repentance and apology.  It will be a virtual event hosted on-line by CWM and led by the Board of Directors.  In this we aim to confess the legacies of slavery in our life and begin the process of sending CWM to being an organization committed to reparation and anti-racist action.  It will be a moment in which CWM speaks for itself, not its members, but calls on its members to bear witness to the same need for self-transformation if we are to enable life to flourish in a world where race continues to divide and oppress.  It will also enable CWM to press for similar action by other mission organisations and especially the governments of the former and current colonial powers.

  • Regional gatherings (March – June 2021)
  • Member church Legacies processes
  • Developing regional models for ongoing work
  • Pacific Legacies Talanoa process
  • Research on Children and Racism
  • Caribbean art project visualising Legacies of Slavery
  • Work on Whiteness
  • Reparations and Economic Justice work (ZacTax)
  • Praying down the Statues
  • Wider Advocacy

View more information on the ongoing work through this document:

The following resources below are recommended for further reading:

Naming the Contemporary & Historic Legacies of Slavery
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Legacies of Slavery Project Position Paper
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Legacies of Slavery Project Core Group Report
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Silent No Longer: The Roots of Racism in Mission
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    For more information, please contact:
    Rev Dr Peter Cruchley
    Mission Secretary: Mission Developemnt

    Rev Dr Michael Jagessar
    Mission Secretary: Europe