On 15 February each year, the Coptic Orthodox Church worldwide commemorates the lives of its contemporary martyrs on the anniversary…
LOUDfence at St Chad’s Cathedral
St Chad’s Cathedral will host a ‘LOUDfence’ event from Sunday 7 to Saturday 13 May. ‘LOUDfence’ involves tying brightly-coloured ribbons and messages of support in public spaces to show support for victims and survivors of child abuse. The aim is to give survivors a voice, to create awareness in the community and to work to end child abuse. During the event, people are encouraged to contribute to the LOUDfence display of support and solidarity with those affected by abuse. Ribbons will be tied to railings inside and outside the cathedral to represent the voices of those who wish to speak out in support of those affected by abuse.
There will be an opportunity for quiet time and reflection, the chance to offer a message or prayer and to attend Mass, as well as displays and information from various charities. Members of the Catholic Diocesan Safeguarding Team will be on hand, should anyone wish to talk. The Survivor Engagement Panel, which works closely with the Diocesan Safeguarding Team, is also supporting the LOUDfence initiative.
The survivor-led initiative was brought to the UK in 2020 by Antonia Sobocki, Director of Activism at Survivors Voices and the UK Project Manager for LOUDfence UK. Antonia said, ‘As a survivor of familial child abuse, the church did exactly what it should have done. It loved, valued, included and nurtured me. I think it would be no exaggeration to say the church became a kind of replacement family for me and I have always loved the church for how it has helped me. It is for this reason I work in Catholic activism. There have been serious safeguarding failings in the past, but I know that when the church gets it right, it can get it spectacularly right. This requires all of us to work together for that church we all love and value so much.’
LOUDfence started at St Peter’s nglican Church in Kirkbampton, Cumbria, and has since visited Rochester Cathedral, Carlisle Cathedral, Ely Cathedral, Northampton Roman Catholic Cathedral, both Birmingham cathedrals, Plymouth Roman Catholic Diocese and Truro Cathedral. LOUDfence has just taken place in Lourdes, France.
For more news, events and vacancies from Birmingham, Solihull and beyond, return to our homepage HERE