The Church of England said it was ashamed of the role that some in the Anglican Church had played in slavery though it also said that leading clergy helped abolish the trade.
“Slavery and exploitation have no place in society,” a spokesman for the Church of England said.
“While we recognise the leading role clergy and active members of the Church of England played in securing the abolition of slavery, it is a source of shame that others within the Church actively perpetrated slavery and profited from it.”
The Anglican Communion has 85 million members in over 165 different countries.
“In 2006 the General Synod of the Church of England issued an apology, acknowledging the part the Church itself played in historic cases of slavery,” the spokesman said.