The Fellowship of Reconciliation (England and Scotland) has released a statement marking the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Rev Dr Inderjit Bhogal, Honorary President of the Fellowship said:
“In the midst of the song of the angels, peace on earth and good will to all, we pause and light a candle.
A great man has fallen. Archbishop Desmond Tutu has died. A man of a relentless pursuit of justice with mercy, and uncompromising opposition to violence. Walking humbly, laughing at the folly of stupidity and exclusion.
An incarnation of the belief all are made in the image of God. God grant him peace, and to us all that we may be blessed by his wisdom, vision and example. Thanks be to God for Desmond Tutu”
John Cooper, Director of the Fellowship said:
“Archbishop Desmond Tutu looked evil in the eye and preached justice, peace, love and inclusion. His work and witness was an inspiration to all who encountered it. His spirit will live on through the many books he wrote and recordings of talks and sermons he gave. During the days that follow we will hear many of his words and actions again. They were inspiring when he first said or wrote them and still carry that resonance today. As we hear them I hope we don’t just remember but feel challenged to reflect on what our own witness to peace and justice can be today”
The Fellowship of Reconciliation has long been concerned with questions of racial justice, including in South Africa. One of the earlier ways it explored the topic was publishing ecumenical concerns in an issue of it’s journal, Reconciliation (January 1949) about increasing segregation in South Africa. It also heard reports from staff visiting South Africa and organised conferences exploring the situation and the role of non-violence. Its members were part of wider UK civil society campaigns to end Apartheid in South Africa.