A call to Remember, Reflect and Respond to racial justice matters on the 30th anniversary of the murder of Stephen Lawrence who died on 22 April 1993
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.
Racial Justice Sunday resources are produced by CTBI’s sponsoring churches. The resource for 2023 will provide readers with opportunities to pray and take action on racial justice-related matters.
The first part of the resource includes excellent liturgical and creative prayers prepared by Phill Melstrom, the Worship Development Worker at the Church of Scotland. This material provides multifarious entry points for any engagement with the subject matter. Equally, we have outstanding worship-related material written by Mark Sturge, a prime mover with Black Majority Churches that will resonate especially with those from Pentecostal congregations. Both items capture the richness and diversity of devotions and worship in our churches.
The second part of the resource includes a variety of reflections from Christians who were around at the time of Stephen Lawrence’s killing. It also features contributions from younger racial justice champions who reflect on what Stephen’s murder means to them as Christians living in a world that is still grappling with racial justice.
Download the resource.