Our correspondent finds churches gearing up to mark the bicentenary of the Abolition Act
The Times - June 24, 2006
by Nick Wyke
NEXT spring is the bicentenary of the abolition of the transAtlantic slave trade in British ships, and already the groundswell of commemorative preparations is starting to rival the build-up to the Make Poverty History campaign last year.
Leading the charge, predictably, is William Wilberforce whose bitter struggle to end slavery will be retold in Amazing Grace, a film from Walden Media which scored a recent hit with Narnia. The makers hope to hold the premiere next spring at Clapham Holy Trinity church, the spiritual home of the Clapham Sect, the group of influential evangelical Anglicans who helped Wilberforce to promote his anti-slavery Bill from 1787 until it was finally passed in 1807 (slavery in the colonies was abolished in 1833).
Wilberforce’s biography is being written by William Hague; the city of Hull is celebrating its most famous son with aprogramme of events and a revamped Wilberforce House museum; and St Paul’s church at Mill Hill, northwest London, which was built by Wilberforce in his final years, is being restored with the addition of a museum.
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