On Sunday 17th September people from across Cheshire joined together at Chester Cathedral to pray for those caught up in the tragedy of modern slavery and human trafficking.
The Mayors of Cheshire East and Cheshire West, local councillors, the High Sheriff and the Bishop of Chester were present, as well as Caroline Virgo representing The Clewer Initiative.
The congregation heard from groups working against slavery including the Salvation Army, local anti-slavery hubs, 50eight, who help businesses safeguard against modern slavery in their supply chains, and Cheshire Anti-Slavery Network. Major Kathryn Taylor from the Salvation Army gave the address.
The Bishop of Chester, Bishop Peter Forster signed the statement below in Chester cathedral on behalf of all Churches in Cheshire:
'The Church leaders of Cheshire welcome this strategy to fight this evil in our midst and commend those within the churches of Cheshire:
- To use all appropriate opportunities to promote amongst their congregations and denominations awareness of the signs of modern slavery;
- To understand the ways in which concerns can be reported to the relevant statutory bodies;
- To ensure that safeguarding guidelines, procedures and training take account of concerns in respect of modern slavery
- To explore the development of ‘Hubs of Concern’ around Cheshire to promote awareness within their local communities;
- To explore how the facilities and people of the churches might be offered and used to support those in the process of recovery.
- To be mindful of the possibilities of modern slavery at play within the services and goods they buy and to use their decisions and purchasing power to combat this'
- Jane Brooke (Acting Dean Chester Cathedral)