MY life has been very privileged.

I did not think this in my early years. I did not realise for quite some while.

Now that I am in a very privileged position I easily forget it, unless I consciously remind myself, or events do that for me.

The horrific way that George Floyd was murdered, and the subsequent wave of protests across the globe have been one such series of events.

I had the most wonderful loving parents and family life. We are privileged to remain a very happy extended family covering four generations.

When I was born the British Empire still existed. All the world maps were coloured with lots of pink, designating the countries of that empire.

I was unaware of the movement taking place that was leading to the independence of many of these nations and the emergence of the, then, ‘British’ Commonwealth.

Subconsciously the way I was taught at school; the images I saw in comics and books (we had no TV until I was nine) imbued me with a quiet sense of superiority. This included superiority over Americans.

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It was my clear conversion to Jesus Christ that opened my eyes so that I began to see the whole world differently.

I quickly learned that all human beings are made equally in the image of God. No one is inferior.

Church history was itself presented with some distortion about power and truth but I very early on learned of the radical transformation brought about between Ugandan and European in the East Africa Revival.

I learned the need for repentance from superiority.

My unexpected journey to now being in a place of enormous privilege has included a journey into discovering the depths of racism in our nation. It is both structural and built on personal prejudice.

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I have been honoured to be part of the Evangelical Race Relations Group which became Evangelical Christians for Racial Justice.

I have had the deep privilege of working alongside leaders in the ‘black majority’ church.

As a family we loved living in Forest Gate and Walthamstow. We are thrilled that our children grew up in the richness of multi-racial, multi-faith and multi-cultural East London. I have been humbled to engage in developing interfaith projects in Waltham Forest, and in Hampshire and Nottinghamshire.

I value co-working with people from all racial backgrounds and faiths.

Over recent years in particular I have been able to work in a small way for the good of asylum seekers and refugees at a national level. I have for decades now sought to follow Jesus Christ by seeking justice for all.

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My friends in Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi have taught me so much. They have deepened my understanding of following Christ and serving the poor. I owe them a great deal.

I have consistently sought to promote racial justice. This has often been faltering and is certainly imperfect but it is done from conviction and honesty.

Yet here is the rub. Structural racism remains.

Personally, I still have to repent regularly of thoughts and feelings of racial superiority. I can still catch myself thinking wrongly of others simply because of the colour of their skin or their upbringing.

Oh how I wish it was not so. Oh how I long for it to be untrue.

But, it is still there.

I have to keep taking it to the foot of the Cross of Jesus.

For this is the only place I know where total forgiveness is found, and where we are drawn together and renewed to love one another.

I write this now because I believe that unless those of us who are white and privileged own up publicly to our inner faults and failings there is little hope that the current round of protests will prove any more effective for change than the too many that have gone before.

It is the longing of my heart that this time there will be significant structural change.

For that to truly happen protest will not be enough.

Repentance, a change of mind and heart that leads to a change of action, is required.

It has to begin with me, and all around me who are equally white and privileged.

Education helps, so does unconscious bias training but the deepest need is a true changing of the mind and heart, which is an act of the will.

In the end only true love of our neighbour will bring the radical transformation, structural and personal, that is required.

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