Discussing modern slavery at Bishopthorpe

“It can be said that it costs more to buy an iPhone than a human slave” startling and challenging words. Human slavery is believed to be the second most lucrative crime after drugs dealing. 10s of 1,000s of people, including a high proportion of children are believed to be held in slavery in the United Kingdom. These are just some of the facts shared at a recent meeting hosted recently at Bishopthorpe, the official residence of the Archbishop of York.

Representatives from Church of England dioceses across the north of England met at Bishopthorpe, to discuss how the church can respond to modern slavery – human trafficking. The Clewer Initiative, a Church of England group set up to stimulate concern for modern slavery, had organised the day, which brought together people of different professions, and places, to ‘network’ and encourage one another.

St Chrysostom’s was there – represented by Fr Ian, and Alan who leads our work in the welcome and care of victims of trafficking. Speakers included bishops, workers of the Clewer Initiative, police officers and Professor Gary Craig, who has done in depth research into modern slavery.

Bishop Alastair Redfern, with Bishop Alison White (Bishop of Hull)

Bishop Alistair Redfern encouraged churches to take action locally and it was good that the work done at St Chrysostom’s, and our plans for the future, were shared, along with other good examples from around the north.

Fr Ian writes: The magnitude of human slavery is almost overwhelming, it is a terrible scourge in our society. One message we took from today’s gathering was that many Christians wish to help and to care, and small steps taken can lead to larger ones. We returned from Bishopthorpe encouraged to continue St Chrysostom’s work for victims of human slavery and to develop it in whatever ways we can. 

A final thought for prayer and action, particularly as many churches, St Chrysostom’s among them, consider inclusion. Bishop Alastair encouraged people to see the role of the church in giving isolated victims an opportunity to ”participate in the experience of community”.


About stchrysostoms

St Chrysostom’s is an Anglican (Church of England) parish church in Manchester, UK. We’re an inclusive, diverse and welcoming faith community rejoicing in our Anglo Catholic tradition, where people of many differing backgrounds make friends. Find our Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/2364267899/
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