Churches light a candle for George Floyd on first anniversary of his death

Churches across the UK are lighting a candle to mark the first anniversary of George Floyd's death.

Churches will be lighting their candles at noon and saying a prayer in his memory, but they are also being asked to commit to taking personal and institutional action against racism in church and society. 

"Marking a year since George Floyd's tragic murder, the #CandleOfJustice initiative provides a timely moment for us to come together in prayer and reflection, with a determination to each do all we can to stand for racial justice," says Rev Dr Lurliene Miller, co-chair of the Churches Together in England (CTE) Racial Justice Working Group and vice-chair of CTE's Trustees.

"The unity of God's church is powerful, and we're so encouraged to see churches committing to working together to tackle racial injustice.

"I'd encourage Christians and churches up and down the country to get involved, lighting their candle and praying the #CandleOfJustice prayer at noon on Tuesday 25 May."

After lighting their candle, people are being asked to upload a picture to social media with the hashtag #CandleOfJustice and tagging in @ChurchesEngland.

Bishop Mike Royal, a member of CTE's Racial Justice Working Group and the CTE Pentecostal and Charismatic Forum, said the anniversary of George Floyd's death "is a moment to lament".

"It is also a moment for the church to reflect on how far we have come and how far we need go in the journey towards racial justice, both here in the UK and around the globe," he said. 

A prayer has been written by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland's Richard Reddie and CTE's Shermara Fletcher for use on the day.

O Lord, you are a God of justice –
may we share your passion for justice,
which can be seen throughout the Bible.
By the power of your Holy Spirit
enable us to stand up for justice
and stand against intolerance.

Thank you that you love each person,
made in the image of God.
Change our hearts to see others as you do.
Allow our hearts to break over the sin of racism,
and our lament to turn into righteous action.

At 7pm, there will be a Doing Justice National Service of Reflection to mark the anniversary. The service will air on the Youtube channel of Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, and be broadcast by BBC Radio 4 at 8.10am on Sunday 30 May for its Sunday Worship programme.