Anglican charity USPG to pay £7m in slavery reparations

A plaque at the harbour in Bridgetown, Barbados, remembering the Africans sold into the slave trade and those who fought for its abolition.(Photo: Getty/iStock)

An Anglican charity has committed to paying Barbados £7m in reparations for historic links to slavery. 

The United Society Partners in the Gospel (USPG) said it was “seeking to address the wrongs of their past” by committing to the reparations as part of its ‘Renewal & Reconciliation: The Codrington Reparations Project’. 

The project is named after Sir Christopher Codrington who in 1710 left a bequest to The Society of the Propagation of the Gospel – as USPG was known at the time – for two plantations in Barbados.

“Between 1710 and 1838, SPG benefitted from the labour of enslaved persons on the Codrington Estate. This newly announced project in Barbados is part of USPG’s ongoing commitment to engaging critically with its shameful history,” USPG said.

The reparations project will begin in spring 2024 and span four areas of work in collaboration with the descendants of the enslaved. These are community development and engagement; historical research and education; burial places and memorialisation; and family research.

USPG said it acknowledged “a responsibility to be engaged in a public act of remorse and apology and a commitment to making amends through educational and other initiatives that have a wider public benefit”.

Rev Duncan Dormor, USPG General Secretary, said, “USPG is deeply ashamed of our past links to slavery. We recognise that it is not simply enough to repent in thought and word, but we must act, working in partnership with Codrington whose descendants are still deeply impacted by the generational trauma that came from the Codrington Plantations.” 

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