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      Call to create slavery museum in empty Bristol church

      ByMonelo Gabriel

      Feb 14, 2023

      • By Stephanie Pearl
      • BBC Radio Bristol


      The church has been closed since 1987.

      A group calls for an abandoned church to be turned into a slavery museum.

      The former Seamen’s Mission Church and Institute in Bristol recently went on the market for £500,000.

      The Abolition Shed Collective said turning it into a museum would “heal the divisions” that “repeatedly crop up” whenever the issue of slavery is raised in the city.

      The stone church next to Queen’s Square was built in 1880 but closed in 1987.

      The Gothic-style church was damaged during an attack in 1940 during World War II.

      In a statement, the collective said the recent campaigning and tearing down of the Edward Colston statue during anti-racism protests in the UK made it clear that there was a “perceived need in Bristol for a national memorial to the victims of slavery.” “.

      The church presented an “opportunity for a unique museum that tells the story of both the African resistance and the anonymous Bristol abolitionists who combined to put an end to transatlantic trade,” it added.

      “This would be a dedicated space in the heart of where the story actually happened.”

      Finola Ingham, a director at Burston Cook, which is selling the building, said it was “difficult to say” whether this would be possible.


      The old church has been abandoned for three decades.

      She told BBC Radio Bristol that she was aware of calls for a “legacy” building as a slavery museum, but added that “whether or not that’s possible in that building is a totally different question.”

      “I don’t think anyone, not even the owner, really understands the condition of that building,” he added.

      “Until you really look under the brick and understand it, I don’t think anyone really knows the cost.

      “We just need to understand it more and get a little more information about the condition.”


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