Charity to pay £7m reparations to Barbados community impacted by its slavery links

A UK based Christian charity has pledged £7m aid in reparation to support communities in Barbados impacted by its historic links with slavery.

The United Society Partners in the Gospel (USPG) has made the funding pledge as it looks to “address the wrongs” of its past links to slavery.

The money will be used to fund the Codrington Reparations Project to launch in spring 2024 to support community development and engagement, historical research and education, work on burial places and memorialisation and family research in Barbados.

This 10-to-15-year project is being carried out in partnership with Codrington Trust and Church in the Province of the West Indies, in Barbados. The descendants of enslaved people will also collaborate on the project.

USPG says it has “long been aware of its disgraceful links to the slave trade”. This includes a bequest in the early 18th century to the charity of two plantations in Barbados belonging to Sir Christopher Codrington. This saw the charity benefit from slavery from 1710 through to 1838.

“This newly announced project in Barbados is part of USPG’s ongoing commitment to engaging critically with its shameful history,” the charity said.

'Deeply ashamed'

“USPG is deeply ashamed of our past links to slavery,” said USPG general secretary Rev’d Duncan Dormor.

“We recognise that it is not simply enough to repent in thought and word, but we must take action, working in partnership with Codrington where the descendants of enslaved persons are still deeply impacted by the generational trauma that came from the Codrington Plantations.”

Archbishop Howard Gregory of the Church in the Province in the West Indies added: “It is our hope that, through this reparations project, there will be serious reckoning with the history of the relationship between The Codrington Trust and USPG, but also a process of renewal and reconciliation that will be healing of the pain of the past.”

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