The Diocese of Rochester is committed to helping their congregations to love their communities, in as many different ways as they can.
Their work on modern slavery continues in this spirit, as they help everyone across the diocese to understand the realities of modern slavery and respond to it.
They have placed a large emphasis on training at the beginning of their project, working with the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority on several training sessions. They have also linked in their work with Hope 2018, with modern slavery being just one of the big issues they are tackling alongside debt, homelessness, domestic abuse, and addiction.
They want their communities to experience the love of God, whether they are suffering under the burden of debt, sleeping rough on the streets, or experiencing the horror of modern slavery.
The Diocese launches Hope 2018 with a focus on Debt, Homelessness, Addictions and Modern Slavery
A Train the Trainer session with the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority for those who want to train others.
Training event for clergy and community members with the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority.
A modern slavery service at Rochester Cathedral with Archbishop Justin Welby, as he informally commissions the modern slavery volunteers.
The Diocese holds a conference on caring for victims and survivors with input from police and charities.
A Hidden Voices taster course at Christ Church Erith.
An afternoon conference designed for those unable to make the all day event in June.
bringing in expertise
The diocese held a big conference in June 2018, bringing in experts from lots of different areas to give different perspectives on modern slavery and how it should be tackled. Over a hundred people from the diocese attended, hearing from local police, the Snowdrop Project, and Chair of The Clewer Initiative, Bishop Alastair Redfern. The idea was to hear from many voices, who are all tackling modern slavery in different ways, to help the community decide how they could best help.
integration with hope
In 2018 the Diocese ran a campaign for Hope 2018 called Setting the Captives Free. It was about freedom; from slavery, addictions, domestic violence, domestic abuse, and debt. For the part about slavery they have had training from the Gangmasters & Labour Abuse Authority. From that a growing number of churches now want to be places where the emergency services can take victims that they rescue during a raid. One person has so far gone on to be a volunteer driver, taking victims to a place of safety.
a holistic approach
Caroline Clarke, the project lead for The Clewer Initiative in the Diocese of Rochester says that “Ultimately what we’re interested in is whole person care in our community.” As well as her projects about modern slavery she also coordinates their work on Fair Finance, supporting people in debt and helping them getting their money under control. They also have job clubs and several homelessness projects.
the community holds the key
The diocese believes, just like The Clewer Initiative, that the tools to end modern slavery exist in our community. There are churches in all the towns, cities, and villages. The diocese hopes that in leading their communities, then they can make a huge difference. They are teaching that Christians are called to love their neighbour, whoever they are, and not only in words, but in action.
Stories from rochester
St Nicholas Church, Boley Hill, Rochester, ME1 1SL
Banner photo from Ray in Manila via Flickr