The Clewer Sisters have funded The Clewer Initiative since its inception. This financial support is now coming to an end so we are seeking alternative sources of funding to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.

The Clewer Initiative was established in 2016 as the national work of the Church of England to combat modern slavery.

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The Clewer Initiative – our history

We exist to raise awareness and mobilise the Church and communities to take action against modern slavery, promote victim identification and provide victim care and support.

For the last seven years, the Community of St John Baptist (CSJB) or Clewer Sisters, an Anglican religious order of Augustinian nuns, have funded The Clewer Initiative. This financial support is coming to an end so we are seeking alternative sources of funding to ensure the long-term sustainability of the project.

We receive amazing support from the Church of England at every level but, like most charities, we have to secure our own funding. Being independent means we can create an important and unique space in which church and non-church actors can meet as equal partners and collaborators.

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The need

There is an urgent and obvious need to raise awareness of modern slavery and equip individuals and communities to know how to spot the signs of slavery and report suspicions so that criminal gangs are disrupted and victims rescued.

Time and again, law enforcement officers state that the single most useful thing we can do at The Clewer Initiative is to educate the public about the crime. The Police and statutory bodies are entirely reliant on members of the public to be their eyes and ears and report suspicions. That is the only way the criminal gangs will be thwarted and modern slavery stamped out. Church groups of many denominations are present in all communities, yet The Clewer Initiative is the only organisation working nationally to challenge and catalyse churches to improve their response.

There is also a huge need to mobilise churches to care for the most vulnerable in society and help build resilient communities where criminal gangs cannot get a foothold. This preventative, public health element to our work is vital as it recognises that vulnerability in both individuals and communities can lead (often by increments) to modern slavery and exploitation. We seek to enable and empower churches to recognise and interrupt this cycle.

A strategic opportunity

Because the Church of England is present in all communities and at the heart of many, it is in a unique position to take action against modern slavery. We believe the will and ability to end modern slavery exist in every church community and that communities can be mobilised with no or minimal financial cost to ourselves.

Through the Church of England’s cathedrals, dioceses and parish systems it can be extremely influential - perhaps the only institution in the UK with an ability to work through government and civil structures right down to the grassroots. We have sought to harness this strategic position by working closely with Cathedrals, Dioceses and local parishes, pioneering, resourcing and supporting projects and partnerships.

The difference we've made so far - stories from around the UK

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Our goal

Our ultimate goal is to create a preventative safety network for people in danger of slipping into modern slavery and exploitation. The Government, statutory bodies or Police don’t have the resources to do this but this is something that the church can be mobilised to achieve.

Our approach

We will build this preventative safety network for people in danger of slipping into modern slavery and exploitation by:

  • Raising awareness of modern slavery through communication campaigns and new resources
  • Pioneering anti-slavery partnerships and supporting grassroots action in Dioceses and Cathedrals
  • Providing first-class training for frontline practitioners
  • Helping synergise and triage the care and restoration of victims.
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The cost

Our current budget is £600,000 per annum. We are seeking to find £2,000,000 over the next three years to continue the vital work of The Clewer Initiative and place it on a sustainable and long term footing.

Next steps

If you would like to have a confidential conversation to find out more about The Clewer Initiative and potentially supporting the organisation financially, please email

Make a donation

If you would like to make a donation today, visit our Crowdfunding page or transfer money to our bank account. The details are:

Sort code: 83-91-55

Account Number: 11016838

Charity Commission number: 1186900


The Clewer Initiative 2024 & beyond

Download our short brochure outlining our case for support and vision for the future (PDF)

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