Quakers discuss reparations and restorative justice with Jamaican Christians

Jamaican church leaders visited Friends House in Euston this week to discuss reparations for the transatlantic slave trade with Quakers.

A delegation of Jamaican church leaders standing on some steps with Quakers and Quaker staff
The delegation discussed the need for financial, theological and emotional reparations. Image: Michael Preston for BYM.

Representatives of the Church Reparation Action Forum (CRAF), founded in 2019 as the voice of the church in Jamaica on reparations, are meeting churches across the UK to discuss restorative justice.

Pastor Bruce Fletcher, chief executive of Operation Save Jamaica, said in a release: "A number of reports have highlighted the financial contribution enslaved Africans made to the world economy during the Atlantic slave trade for which they received nothing.

"It's now time for businesses and church denominations that benefitted from the slave trade to make reparation to their descendants."


We are united in our shared vision of a more loving, equal and just world for all

- Siobhán Haire


Quakers in Britain agreed at their annual meeting in 2022 to make practical reparations for the trans-Atlantic slave trade, colonialism and economic exploitation.

Siobhán Haire, deputy recording clerk for Quakers in Britain said: "As a community, Quakers in Britain are at an early stage in our journey of learning about and enacting reparations for the great harm of the transatlantic slave trade.

"It was humbling and hugely rewarding to meet with the delegation from Jamaica, members of whom have been thinking, working and researching in this area for years.

"We hope to keep building our relationship with this group, and with others across the world who share this vision."

Reverend. Dr Gordon Cowans, co-founder of CRAF, noted that reparation is not just about financial restitution. He said Christians should also seek to redress the emotional and psychological harm enslavement caused within black communities.

The delegation will meet organisations including Churches Together in England, the Evangelical Alliance, the Church of England, the New Testament Church of God, and the National Church Leaders Forum.

They will attend the 75th anniversary service at Southwark Cathedral commemorating the 1948 arrival of HMS Windrush and the contribution of the Windrush Generation to British society.

Find out more about Quaker action on reparations