Advanced search Click here for the website of the current Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby

This is an archived website containing material relating to Dr Rowan Williams’ time as Archbishop of Canterbury, which ended on 31st December 2012

Skip Content

The Abolition of Slavery - 2007 anniversary

 2007 - the anniversary year of the act for the abolition of slavery

 In March 2007 the Archbishops of Canterbury and York asked people to reflect on the horrors of the transatlantic slave trade and use the anniversary of the Act for its abolition as a springboard to take action to tackle the impact of the trade's legacies today, including examples of human trafficking and oppression across the globe.

 At the Primates meeting in Tanzania the Archbishops' attended a service in Zanzibar where the Cathedral Church now stands proudly on the site that was once the market place for the trading of slaves. The manacles and shackles which remain in the slave pit bear testament to the true inhumanity endured by those slaves.

Dr Sentamu said: "We need to rediscover a new faith-based movement for social and economic justice, which has hope, rather than anger, at its core. I believe that movement is the Church and it is my hope that as we commemorate the achievements of the abolitionists over the coming months we might also re-dedicate ourselves to being that change which we want to see in the world."

The Archbishops' call for the commemoration of the Bicentenary of the Act for the Abolition of the Slave Trade to be an agent for change in society has since been a regular feature in the news.