CRCW fights back against BBC Panorama’s negative portrayal of town

Mal Breeze group bAccording to White Fright: Divided Britain, a BBC Panorama programme aired in January 2018, Blackburn is a community segregated along ethnic and religious lines.

Panorama first visited the Lancashire town, made up of around 100,000 British white people and 40,000 British Asians, in 2007 to report on how the community was integrating. It returned 10 years later with a critical report of an increasing socially segregated area, described as a ‘national crisis’.

But United Reformed Church Related Community Worker, Mal Breeze, who has worked at the North and East Blackburn Group project for four years, paints a different picture.

‘Blackburn is a great place to live and work and in my opinion and many others, the programme was a deliberate exercise in scaremongering, by people who have no idea of life in Blackburn,’ he says.

Mal BreezeIn his reflection, ‘The True Story of Life in Blackburn’, Mal shares some of the positive work that is taking place within the community and the achievements made through successful collaborations between churches and local faith groups, which, he says, was not highlighted in the programme.

From exploring each other’s cultures and foods, to discovering ways in which people work together, and the creation of an inter-faith trail resource that enables individuals, groups and schools to visit all the different worship centres in the area, there is much to look forward to in Blackburn that paints a united Britain.

Read Mal’s reflection in full here.

If you would like to find out more about Church Related Community Work email the CRCW office or call the URC switchboard on 020 7916 2020.