Anti-slavery work in cathedrals

Cathedrals, with their prominence and reach within a diocese, are uniquely positioned to deliver and inspire anti-slavery work.

Each cathedral serves its community as its area's mother church and the bishop's seat. Through their presence, worship and varied work, they reach out to their local and wider communities in many ways.

The Clewer Initiative has worked in partnership with cathedrals across the country to raise awareness of modern slavery and engage local communities with anti-slavery projects.

Cathedrals raising awareness of modern slavery

With their position in a community and considerable size, many cathedrals welcome a significant number of visitors through their doors every day.

This makes them well-placed to raise awareness of modern slavery in the community. Over the years cathedrals have run exhibitions on modern slavery such as at Chester Cathedral and Ely Cathedral.

Southwark Cathedral hosted an awareness-raising day organised by the Reigate Archdeaconery Social Justice Focus which gave visitors to the Cathedral the opportunity to meet with anti-slavery organisations, including The Clewer Initiative, hear talks from those on the frontline and take part in worship.

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Engaging and protecting young people

The Clewer Initiative has been working with cathedrals to engage schools in anti-slavery work and to raise awareness of the dangers that county lines pose to students.

Our work to engage young people with modern slavery includes a stained glass window at Southwark Cathedral inspired by our modern slavery lessons, a county lines awareness-raising day with Worcester Cathedral and a county lines art exhibition with Salisbury Cathedral.

A significant piece of work we were involved with was an online schools' day with Ely Cathedral in 2021. We partnered with the Cathedral's learning centre to use local history to teach children about modern slavery through a short film called Sanctuary. With the team at Ely Cathedral we created online lesson plans and took part in a virtual assembly that reached over 30,000 students across 25 local primary schools.


Get involved

Each project is unique and we work with cathedrals to develop a programme and set of resources depending on the needs of their community.

If you would like to find out more about our work with cathedrals, please email us:

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