Vietnamese survivors of human trafficking gathered today (8th November) at St Chrysostom’s Church together with volunteers, church members and friends for an act of worship to remember the 39 Vietnamese trafficked people, from North and Central Vietnam, who suffocated on their journey seeking a better life in Britain.
Sheran Harper, worldwide president of the Mothers’ Union also joined the worship along with representatives of the local community.
Reflection and prayer was led in English and in Vietnamese. The Vietnamese speakers were survivors of trafficking themselves, and we briefly heard the story of one, and we were moved at his thanks for the care he receives at Church. In our work of care at St Chrysostom’s for the survivors of human trafficking we have helped over 400 people at St Chrysostom’s and we estimate that 50 – 60 of them have been from Vietnam.
Prayers were offered, and 39 candles lit, one for each person who died. Prayers were also said for their families and friends, those being trafficked today, and for those who traffick other humans.
The following prayer, written by the Bishop of Manchester, Bishop David, was read in English and translated into Vietnamese.
God of all peoples, we hold before you those who have died seeking a new life in this country. We pray that they may now know the fullness of your light and your peace;
We pray, too, that their families and friends may find comfort in their darkness. We remember all those who put their lives at risk in seeking to travel here, praying that they may be kept safe, especially when they are in the hands of those that would exploit them and care little for their well-being.
May your kingdom come, when all may find welcome and kindness amongst our human family, and when true justice may be known for all. These things we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
All were united in a poignant time of silence as we pondered the horrors which human trafficking can inflict.