An array of senior church leaders from Britain and Ireland will call for justice at a national church service marking the first anniversary of the killing of George Floyd on 25 May 2021.

Entitled Doing Justice: A National Service of Reflection on the Anniversary of the murder of George Floyd, the service will host senior church leaders and local Christians at the New Testament Church of God in Brixton, south London. They will remember the tragic death of Mr Floyd, as well as challenging churches and communities in Britain and Ireland to stand up for justice and against racism, ignorance and hatred.

Due to the existing COVID-19 restrictions, the socially-distanced service will be recorded on 18 May 2021, but broadcast at 7pm on 25 May 2021, via You Tube and other social media platforms. BBC Radio 4 will subsequently broadcast the service at 8.10am on Sunday 30 May for its Sunday Worship programme.

The national service features contributions from the Archbishop of York – the Right Revd Stephen Cottrell, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo from Kingsway International Christian Centre, Pastor Agu Irukwu – CTE’s Pentecostal President, the Bishop of London – the Rt Revd Sarah Mullally, the Bishop of Dover – Rt Revd Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Revd Les Isaac from the Ascension Trust and Street Pastors Network, and Lynn Green from the Baptist Union of Great Britain, among others.

The service was initiated by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI). Richard Reddie, Director for Justice and Inclusion at CTBI said: ‘Last year, George Floyd’s killing and the Black Lives Matters protests that followed, showed that many were saying “enough is enough” when it comes to racism, especially the form experienced by Black people on both sides of the Atlantic. This anniversary is a timely reminder that we need to continue the work started last year, if we are really committed to ending injustice in church and society.’

The service will be complemented by the music of the awarding-winning IDMC choir, one of the leading Gospel choirs in Britain. It will also feature poetry, prayers and a symbolic action that sees local schoolchildren laying candles at the foot of a cross to remember all those who have lost their lives to intolerance. This activity will be followed by a minute’s silence to remember them, including, of course, George Floyd.

Revd Wale Hudson-Roberts, a Justice Enabler for the Baptist Union of Great Britain and another of the organisers added: ‘Despite what some may suggest, inequality and racism sadly remain detrimental factors in our society. If the Church is to speak prophetically to society on these issues, it must first get its own house in order because we still have a lot of work to do ourselves to truly become the types of organisations that are committed to doing justice.’

Read the full story on the Churches Together in England website.