Church leaders from across our city, including Leeds Church Institute Director Dr Helen Reid, have written an open letter that says ‘Silence is no longer an option: Black Lives Matter ‘ following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, America.


“As Christian leaders in Leeds we know that silence is no longer an option: Black Lives Matter.


Following the recent murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis we make it clear that we are appalled by the violence committed against a human being created in the image of God. We are shocked too by the incendiary language, poor judgement and violence against peaceful protest that has followed in the wake of George’s death.


The Christian scriptures contain a vision of the justice that Christ established through his life, death and resurrection:

He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,

and lifted up the lowly;

he has filled the hungry with good things,

and sent the rich away empty.


In contrast to this, we recognise that racism is embedded in many institutions and cultures – including our own. For too long we have enjoyed the comforts of being among the powerful and rich, complicit in injustice and in perpetuating prejudice and racism.


We recognise that we have allowed ourselves to become estranged from God’s heart and from the people he loves – including black people in our own churches and communities. We recognise we need to listen to and learn from our black sisters and brothers. We need to reflect, repent and act differently across our city to forge together a better future where all have a voice, are able to contribute and live free from fear and oppression.


We wish to build relationships in our city so we are not just helping people different from us address problems, but finding common cause with partners and friends to forge a better future together.  We hope that through our listening we can shape the policies, practices and priorities of the institutions, churches, business and services of our city.


May the Spirit of Christ, poured out on the nations of the world at Pentecost, transform our hearts, renew our minds and lead us forwards in humility and love.”


The letter is supported by:

  • Bishop Tony Parry, Senior Pastor and District Bishop, New Testament Church of God – listen to his moving call to action here
  • The Right Reverend Paul Slater, Anglican Area Bishop for the City of Leeds
  • The Reverend Graham Brownlee, co-Minister Moortown Baptist Church
  • The Reverend Canon Sam Corley, Rector of Leeds
  • The Reverend Lizzy Woolf, Rector St George’s Leeds
  • The Reverend Shona Shaw, co-Minister Moortown Baptist Church,
  • The Reverend Mark Harwood, Minister Rosco Methodist Church
  • The Reverend Joanna Seabourne, Area Dean Headingley
  • The Reverend Dr Peter Morden, Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Baptist Church
  • Steve Reilly, Senior Pastor Bridge Community Church
  • Chris & Gosia Denham, Lead Pastors, Hope City Church
  • David and Alison Flowers, Senior Pastors, Leeds Vineyard
  • Matt Hatch, Senior Pastor. Mosaic Church
  • The Reverend James Barnett, Vicar, St Matts, Leeds
  • Chris Frost, Lead Elder, Gateway Church
  • Mark Kelly, Senior Leader, Freedom Church
  • Dave and Abs Niblock, Pastors, Life Church, Leeds
  • Dr Helen Reid, Director of Leeds Church Institute
  • The Reverend Angela Hughes, Minister, Stainbeck United Reformed Church
  • John Battle, Chair of Diocese of Leeds (Roman Catholic), Justice and Peace Commission
  • Trish Sandbach, Vice-Chair, Diocese of Leeds (Roman Catholic), Justice and Peace Commission
  • The Reverend Dr Peter Morden, Cornerstone Baptist Church, Headingley
  • Joe Burns, Treasurer, Diocese of Leeds (Roman Catholic), Justice and Peace Commission
  • The Reverends Simon and Gladys Mudada, House of Prayer Leeds, Chapeltown
  • Toyosi Ilori, Senior Pastor, Ministry / Church, Amazing Life Church
  • Pastor Ebenezer Aryee, Good Shepherd Church Apostle and Pastor Antony and Faith Tembo, Hospital Chaplain and Gateway Church
  • Chris Mason, Elder at The Oak Church
  • Denver Thompson, Pastor, New Life Church, Yeadon
  • Hilary Willmer, Chair of Leeds Christian Community Trust
  • Paul Lancaster, New Life Church, Otley and Hope for the Nations
  • The Reverend Dave Young, Vicar, St Barnabas’ Alwoodley & St Paul’s Shadwell
  • The Reverend Dr George Bailey, Oakwood Church and Gipton Methodist Church
  • The Reverend Rach Ward, Methodist Minister, Leeds South & West Circuit
  • The Reverend Godfrey Nicholson, Methodist Minister, Leeds South & West Circuit,
  • The Reverend Tanya Short, Methodist Minister, Leeds North & East
  • The Reverend Jude Smith, Team Rector, Moor-Allerton and Shadwell
  • The Reverend Lindsay Pearson, Vicar, St. Mary’s Beeston
  • The Reverend Andrew Pearson, Venerable Bede, Wyther
  • The Reverend Jon Swales, Lighthouse Church, Leeds
  • The Reverend Dr Joseph D Cortis, Coordinator for Caritas Leeds
  • The Reverends Olusola and Eunice Ransome-Kuti, The Amazing Grace Christian Centre
  • Seyi and Ranti Dasaolu, Pastors, In His Presence Four Square Church
  • The Reverend Clare Davison, Headingley URC
  • The Reverend Prof Jane de Gay, St Martin’s, Potternewton
  • The Reverend Geoff Ellis, West Park URC
  • The Reverend Canon Kathryn Fitzsimons, Church of the Epiphany, Gipton and Oakwood Church
  • The Reverend Heston Groenewald, All Hallows, Hyde Park
  • The Reverend Simon Hall, Chapel Allerton Baptist Church and Revive Leeds
  • The Reverend Angela Hughes, Stainbeck URC
  • The Reverend Tony Lee, Cottingley URC
  • The Reverend Hannah Lievesley, St Chad’s, Far Headingley
  • The Reverend John Rogers, Holy Trinity Meanwood
  • The Reverend Sue Rusholme, St Matthew’s, Chapel Allerton
  • Richard and Kate Colbrook, Pastors, Leeds Community Church
  • Very Rev Mgr Canon Philip Moger, Parish Priest, St John Vianney; Immaculate Heart of Mary Presbytery
  • Pastor Nestfield Lopez, Lifewaters Ministry
  • Pastor Michael Ovie, Covenant Glory Christian Centre
  • Rev’d. Joe Kapolyo, Moortown Baptist Church
  • Rev Andy Hobbs, Harehills Lane Baptist Church
  • Rev. Dr. Daniel Mwailu, Minister at Chapel Allerton Methodist Church, Alwoodley Park Methodist Church & Thorner Methodist Church
  • Rev David Robinson, Vicar of St Matthew’s Church, Chapel Allerton
  • Neruka White – Minister of Jesus Christ Apostolic Church
  • Rev’d Graeme Dodds, Harehills Lane Baptist Church
  • Revd Nigel Wright, Vicar, St Edmund’s Roundhay
  • Anna Spiegel, Minister to Young Adults, Blenheim Baptist Church
  • Laurence Pusey, Chaplain, Universities Chaplaincy in Leeds
  • Ann Nichol – Warden of Anglican Readers, Leeds Area
  • Rev Mark Harlow, Vicar at St Pauls Ireland Wood
  • Rev. Dr. Joseph D Cortis Coordinator for Caritas Leeds
  • Karen and Jonathan Gray – Leaders of Crossgates Community (Church without walls) and founders of Connecting Crossgates.
  • Karen Williams, Co Chair of Gather Leeds
  • Dave Paterson, Chair Leeds Food Aid Network (FAN)
  • Mary Halsey – Development worker for the Leeds Homeless Charter
  • Ben Jones – Project Manager of Missional Generation
  • Vanessa Brown – Project Manager at Interact
  • Chijioke John Ojukwu – Member of Cloverleaf Christian Centre
  • John Davy, Pastoral Associate, Gateway Church
  • Catherine Beaumont, Manager of Leeds Christian Community Trust
  • Claire Probert, Leeds Space Network
  • Clare Jackson, Sunflower ESOL
  • Rebecca Howcroft, Community Organiser for Leeds Citizens
  • Grace Mangwanya, Racial Justice Advocate
  • John Casey, Chair of Leeds South and East Foodbank