The Chicester story

Together in Sussex is working ecumenically to create pioneering ways of addressing modern slavery.

The Diocese of Chichester covers East and West Sussex, and includes urban areas like Brighton and Crawley, large rural areas, and long stretches of coastline. The diverse geography and demography of the diocese means there are numerous contexts for modern slavery and exploitation, from rural labour, to sex work, to coastal harvesting.

The Diocese of Chichester’s modern slavery work is led by Together In Sussex, a joint venture between the Church Urban Fund and the diocese, which undertakes a range of social action work. Together in Sussex aims to inspire, enable, and equip churches to understand, engage with, and support the vulnerable in their communities. They are committed to working in partnership and ecumenically, and work closely with the Mothers’ Union and Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton.

Chicester MS Ambassadors

A pioneering ecumenical Modern Slavery Ambassador project

In partnership with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arundel and Brighton, the Diocese of Chichester commissioned 14 Modern Slavery Abolition Ambassadors. The ambassadors have received modern slavery training, and act as anti-slavery contacts for church communities across Sussex. This ground-breaking ecumenical project was launched with a service at St John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, Horsham, in 2021. The Anglican Bishop of Lewes, +Will Hazlewood, and the Roman Catholic Bishop of Arundel, +Richard Moth, commissioned the 14 ambassadors; Bishop Alastair Redfern, The Clewer Initiative’s Chair of Trustees, delivered a sermon. A local police detective gave attendees an update on modern slavery in Sussex. The launch event was well attended by people from both Anglican and Catholic churches.

The aim is for the project to grow into a network of ambassadors, who will act as a first point of contact for anyone who wants more information about modern slavery, or those who have concerns about exploitation and modern slavery in their area.

Our modern slavery ambassadors share their hopes for their role

High profile awareness raising

The former Bishop of Lewes, +Richard Jackson, hosted a large and successful modern slavery conference, attended by around 250 people in 2019. Speakers included Bishop Richard Jackson, Bishop Alastair Redfern, Caroline Virgo (Director of The Clewer Initiative), and representatives from Sussex Police and the charity Streetlight. Topics included what modern slavery looks like in Sussex, the work of Streetlight in the diocese, and what local parishes can do to help. The event also included time for discussion and networking.

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