At Diocesan Synod on 1 December 2018, Bishop Sarah announced that Modern Day Slavery will be the focus for next year’s Lent Appeal.
This will build on the work of the Clewer Initiative, part of the national church’s approach to eradicating modern day slavery which was launched by the Archbishop Justin in October 2017. It rightly calls for a community wide response to modern slavery – developing partnerships between the Church, statutory and non-statutory agencies to create a network of advocates seeking to end Modern Day Slavery.
As Bishop Sarah explained
“There are at least 40 million victims of modern day slavery in the world today, and tens of thousands in the UK. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, in a capital city heralded for its history and culture, modern slavery is thriving. Thousands are forced into domestic servitude, forced labour or sexual exploitation in plain sight of Londoners, and many more are at risk of falling through the cracks, hidden from the view of the authorities, charities and the church. Behind those statistics there are real people. Whether it be a woman or girl trafficked to work in the illegal sex trade, a man forced to work on a construction site or a child married against their will, none are free.
“Micah tells us that “he has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” This may be the best-known passage from the book of Micah – it is full of words and phrases that occur throughout scripture: justice, love, kindness, a walk with God. We should bear this in mind, that life can be safely travelled only if it is made “with God.”
Once again we will be partnering with five charities that are already working to end Modern Day Slavery in London:
- Ella’s Home,
- Love 146,
- The Rise Project (The Children’s Society)
All do equally incredible work, and we are asking all our parishes to prayerfully consider how we as a Diocese can join together and raise awareness of an issue that is ‘Hidden in plain sight’ whilst raising funds to support our partner charities help those trapped by MDS.
More information will follow, but in the meantime, please contact Carol Ward if you have any further questions.