TAKE THE PLEDGE - END MODERN SLAVERY
Anti-Slavery Day is on 18th October and to mark this day we are offering our church communities the idea of taking a pledge to work towards ending modern slavery.
COMMIT TO 3 ANTI-SLAVERY ACTIONS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD
The idea is simple - your church community commits to three anti-slavery actions over the coming year. This could be reviewing the contractors you are using, displaying posters signposting potential victims to available support, or simply using the Clewer Safe Car Wash App. We have listed some ideas for actions below.
There is a one page customisable pledge poster which you can display in your church with the three actions you have committed to take.
BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES
Our friends at The Clewer Initiative have produced a new Bible study resource based on John’s seven letters to the churches.
You can sign up for their mailing list to receive these Bible study resources HERE
John wrote these letters at a time of great anxiety and uncertainty and you can “receive” these letters and respond in prayer, meditation and action.
If you sign up, The Clewer Initiative will send out a letter each day via email during Anti-Slavery Week. You could study the letters over the course of Anti-Slavery Week or you may choose to “open” a letter each week over seven weeks.
The letters can be used as part of a bible study group or for individual study.
IDEAS FOR ACTIONS TO END MODERN SLAVERY IN OUR COMMUNITIES:
Signposting: You could display posters in key places in your church/ hall signposting potential victims to available support and with the Modern Slavery Helpline number (08000 121 700) clearly visible. There are posters available to download HERE from The Clewer Initiative to raise awareness and ensure the signs of modern slavery are front of mind.
Using the Safe Car Wash App: The Safe Car Wash App enables anyone who uses hand car washes to identify and report slavery. You could download the Safe Car Wash app and encourage others in your church community to do so.
Choosing contractors: If your church community is looking to do some building work or get a tradesperson in, remember to consider the welfare of workers. Choosing the cheapest quote is not always the wisest idea. Cheap might mean workers are being exploited. If your church community employs a cleaning company, you could take time to talk to the cleaners and hear their stories. If you have suspicions that they are not working freely or being paid or treated properly, you can report this to the GLAA.
Purchasing decisions: There may be Fairtrade alternatives to the products you currently buy. You could search for suppliers who can guarantee that slavery is not present in the supply chain.
Tapping into the latest research: You could raise your awareness of the key issues faced by victims and survivors of modern slavery. Hestia have a fantastic report series entitled ‘Underground Lives’, with seven reports available to read HERE focussed on modern slavery in London.
Running a film night to raise awareness: The Clewer Initiative have a range of videos about different aspects of modern slavery available on their YouTube channel. You could run a Women in the Shadows film night to raise awareness of how modern slavery affects women and girls.
Mapping the risks of modern slavery in your community: You could get a group in your church/ community together to reflect on and map the risks of modern slavery in your local community. Useful questions to reflect on can be: Who is at particular risk of modern slavery? What threats are on your doorstep? Is there a local hand car wash? Are there lots of farms, construction sites, factories, nail bars or a thriving night-time economy nearby? What do you know about county lines in your area? You can also contact The Compassionate Communities Team for support in the process of mapping your community.
Finding out about existing provisions in your community: You could find out about what modern slavery charities exist locally and what is already established in your community that your church could support / get behind. From this you may establish any gaps in provision where you as a church community may be able to meet some of the needs of your community.
Being a catalyst for connection: If there is nothing already established, you could gather the Police, schools, churches and other community organisations to discuss how you can help end modern slavery in your local community.
Supporting charities already at work in the Diocese of London: such as Tamar, and you can find out HERE how you can best support their work.
Safeguarding our social action projects: Many of the vital projects which our church communities are involved with bring us in contact with some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Be that our foodbanks, our mother and toddler groups, or our hospitality to migrants and asylum seekers to name but a few. You can make sure that those running and volunteering in these spaces feel equipped to identify signs of exploitation and modern slavery, and know the right steps to take to safeguard and protect an individual if they have concerns. There are various online trainings available online on safeguarding in our social action projects, and you can contact the Compassionate Communities Team to find out the latest available options, or about running something bespoke for your context.
- Hosting a survivor of modern slavery through Hope at Home. If you live in London or the South and would like to find out about sharing your spare room with a survivor of slavery facing homelessness you can email Hope at Home or visit their website HERE for further details.
RESOURCES FOR AN ANTI-SLAVERY DAY CHURCH SERVICE
If you are organising an Anti-Slavery Day church service you can find below resources from The Clewer Initiative which may help you in planning the service, including the below, which can all be found HERE
- Possible Bible readings and hymns
- Ideas for prayers
- A sermon script for inspiration
CHURCH OF ENGLAND WEEKLY ONLINE WORSHIP SERVICE TO MARK ANTI-SLAVERY DAY
The service was broadcast on 16th October 2022. The Bishop of London, the Rt Revd and Rt Hon Dame Sarah Mullally DBE, led the service with contributions from the Archbishop of York and Bishop Alastair Redfern, the chair of The Clewer Initiative.
The service is uploaded HERE
KEEP IN TOUCH!
If you decide to commit to the pledge, we would love to hear from you, and to see any ways we may be able to support you over the coming year. Do drop the Compassionate Communities Team an email and let us know about your pledge.