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.
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.
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.
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.