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The parish of

Kings Norton

Part of the Church of England

September 2011

In the week after the riots, I joined a brief public prayer vigil in Handsworth with friends old and new. Many of the lay people had of course been through the 1985 disturbances, but I was the only church leader present who was also there in that earlier awful time. Many asked, “Is this just back to square one? Has anything changed at all over the last 25 years?”

“Yes, utterly” was my firm answer. In 1985, we barely knew our Church of England neighbours, never mind the other mainstream churches, the growing number of majority Black and Asian ones or the even greater number of Sikh, Hindu and Muslim people of good will and integrity. It took years to grow common trust and understanding between us all, but there, in response to public evil, in the siren-filled daylight of Soho Road, we were all truly gathered as one...

Read more in From the Rector.


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