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/ 9 February 2024

St Paul’s Cathedral art installation for racial justice inspires thousands of London pupils

An art installation in St Paul’s Cathedral inspiring conversation about racial justice has been blessed as part of a service for 1,700 pupils from London church schools.

‘Tributaries of Knowledge’, designed by British-Trinidadian artist Bryony Benge-Abbott, is one of over 100 globes which make up the World Reimagined art education project; created to transform how the transatlantic slave trade is understood and viewed. Over three and a half million people engaged with the globes across seven different cities across the UK in 2022.

The London Diocesan Board for Schools (LDBS), a charity that supports and serves 154 Church of England schools and over 55,000 students in London, has made a successful bid for a globe to be hosted in schools across the Capital, in recognition of their commitment to educate children and young people about racial justice.

The piece explores the legacy of Kenyan environmental activist Wangari Maathai, founder of the Green Belt Movement and the first African woman and environmentalist to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The globe was blessed during the service, which centered on the theme of reconciliation, by the Bishop of Willesden, Lusa Nsenga Ngoy. The Diocese of London has set out its pledge to being actively anti-racist as part of its 2030 Vision.

The Globe will shortly move to St Paul’s Primary School, Friern Barnet.

The Rt Hon Rt Revd Dame Sarah Mullally, Bishop of London, said:

 “Teaching the next generation about racial justice, the transatlantic slave trade and its devastating consequences is crucial if we are to prepare children as conscientious, respectful and welcoming members of society. Learning through the medium of art is one such way, so I am delighted that so many children at today’s service engaged with the installation, and that many more will have the opportunity as it visits different church schools across the Capital.”

 Michelle Gayle, actress and Co-Founder of The World Reimagined, added:

“It’s wonderful to see how successfully the LDBS schools have engaged today with the globe, ‘Tributaries of Knowledge,’ and its themes of racial justice and environmentalism. The World Reimagined will continue to support the globe on its journey to allow even more children to learn, reflect and be inspired into affecting positive change.”

The Very Reverend Andrew Tremlett, Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral, commented:

 “Later this year, St Paul’s will be marking the 60th anniversary of Dr Martin Luther King’s sermon to a 4,000-strong congregation. Race relations in the UK have come a long way since then – but we must never forget the hostility that many faced, and still do today, on the basis of their ethnicity. I hope the globe has been able to inspire conversations and change amongst London’s school children and to the thousands of tourists and worshippers who will see it over the coming week.”


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