This week is a focus on Anti-Modern Slavery which runs from Yesterday to Sunday with a specific focus on the Anti-Slavery Day on Tuesday 18th October. The image above came from a campaign on this date four years ago. I received several elements of information from the Arundel and Brighton Roman Catholic Diocese over the last few weeks and they stated that
“Modern slavery is happening here and now on our doorsteps in leafy Surrey and Sussex. In fact, the South East of England is the second largest area for slavery crime in the UK after London.”
They also explained that a new ecumenical partnership is has been announced in a bid to help tackle modern slavery in Sussex. There is an article in Premier Christian News which is as follows and which can be seen from here. Although I have not met several of the people I do know Martin Poole and I was involved in an organisation a few years ago that brought together the these two Dioceses and also a number of other Church structures. I hope this will be very significant and indeed yesterday I wrote a call for our Sussex MPs to respond to this focus. I hope that will also happen.
The Bishop of Lewes, The Rt Revd Will Hazelwood, and the Bishop of Arundel and Brighton, The Rt Revd Richard Moth, will formally commission four ambassadors from the Diocese of Chichester and ten from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, to raise awareness of modern-day slavery within their respective dioceses on Anti-Slavery Day, October 18.
The event will mark the launch of the initiative where Bishop Alastair Redfern, the national lead for the Clewer Initiative, will be the keynote speaker.
Revd Karen Higgs, Assistant Curate for St Swithun, East Grinstead, said: “I was shocked to see how the exploitation of so many was happening right on our door steps. It is so important to begin to address these issues by raising awareness of modern day slavery in our communities.
“When the opportunity came along to be a part of this vital communication as an Ambassador, I didn’t hesitate.”
Revd Martin Poole, chair of trustees for Together in Sussex said: “This is the start of what we hope will become a network of ambassadors who have received some initial training on this hidden issue and who will able to be a point of contact for churches who want more information or are concerned about this issue in their own locality.”