Bristol

Dean of Bristol considers 'slavery' window removal

The stained glass window
Image caption The window is "dedicated to the glory of God and in memory of Edward Colston 1636-1721"

The Dean of Bristol Cathedral has said he is "prepared to have a conversation" about removing a large stained glass window which has links to slavery.

However, the Very Rev David Hoyle told Christian radio Premier any work would cost "many many thousands of pounds".

His comments came following calls to get the nearby Colston Hall renamed.

Edward Colston, an official of the slave trading Royal African Company, made a significant amount of his money directly or indirectly from the trade.

He also donated considerable sums to charitable causes across the city, resulting in an ongoing controversy about how he is remembered.

Image caption Dean Hoyle's comments come following calls to get nearby Colston Hall renamed
Image caption According to a nearby plaque the window was gifted to the cathedral "in pious memory of Edward Colston" by the Dolphin Society

Dean Hoyle said campaigners Countering Colston were quite rightly pointing out that Colston had an association with "wicked and evil" slavery and that it was inappropriate for his memory to be celebrated in this day and age.

However, he also acknowledged the difficulty of "eradicating Colston's memory from the city" and "the complexity of trying to judge a society and a time so far removed from our own".

"Issues like slavery, that can be a difficult conversation, but it is one that must be had," he said.

Image caption The window sits under the cathedral clock

"On occasions, like the annual Sunday service, when we remember the abolition of the slave trade, we tell the story of our mistakes through objects like the stained glass window which was given by Colston, and reflect on those issues, which are still so alive and prevalent in the city of Bristol today.

"These objects can remind us of what went wrong and encourage us to not repeat the same mistakes."

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