Churches take lead in Norfolk’s first Freedom Week
Christian organisations and churches are taking a leading role in Norfolk’s first Freedom Week from 18-24 October, hosting events and services to raise awareness of modern slavery, and taking part in A21's Walk for Freedom.
Last year in Norfolk and Suffolk, 103 people were rescued from modern slavery. In October 2018 nineteen organisations responded by forming the Norfolk Modern Slavery Collaboration (NMSC), sharing in the vision: ‘Norfolk, a county without slavery.’ To raise awareness of the issues, the NMSC is organising the first Freedom Week during October 18-24.
Members of the collaboration include the Diocese of Norwich, the Eastern Baptist Association, Hope into Action, Imagine Norfolk Together, the Mothers Union, St Thomas Norwich, the Salvation Army as well as Norfolk County Council and the Norfolk Constabulary.
On Sunday, October 20, churches across Norfolk are being encouraged to take part in Freedom Sunday, praying and talking about modern slavery within their service to highlight the issues. A resource pack is available to download with a suggested service outline with ideas for prayers, songs, readings and a sermon outline.
In a letter to Norfolk churches Kerry Brighouse of St Thomas Norwich Trust wrote on behalf of the NMSC: “The issues of slavery are overwhelming and complex and we know that we cannot see an end to slavery without God’s help. Please do join us on 20th October for Freedom Sunday as we stand united against modern slavery and human trafficking.”
On Saturday, October 19, 10am-12pm, as part of Freedom Week, Christians are being encouraged to join the A21 Walk for Freedom in Norwich’s City Centre. Starting at Chapelfield Gardens it is hoped that hundreds of participants will walk in single file, wearing black with their mouths taped. This is Norwich’s sixth annual Walk For Freedom, a fundraising and awareness event that will take place in hundreds of cities across dozens of nations.
Freedom Week's closing event, ‘An Evening to Talk About Modern Slavery in Norfolk’, will take place at The Sanctuary in Norwich, from 7pm–9pm on Thursday, October 24. There will be presentations and a panel of experts to answer questions. This will include a performance of 'The Face of Freedom' by Ayomide Sotubo and an opportunity to hear from Shayne Tyler, Group Compliance Director of Fresca Group, exploring how to tackle modern slavery in agriculture, as well as a Q & A session with a panel of representatives working in response to issues of modern slavery.
You can sign up to The Sanctuary Coffee Stop's Modern Slavery in Norfolk event here.
You can sign up to the A21 Walk for Freedom here.
You can download the Freedom Sunday Resource Pack here.