Carlisle Cathedral to support survivors of sexual abuse

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Backup season: ribbon tree

Carlisle Cathedral is helping survivors of sexual abuse with a new facility.

A LOUDfence will be located in the cathedral grounds from November 1-3, and people will be invited to tie ribbons to it to support survivors and victims of abuse.

The fence is part of a backup season which is currently managed by the cathedral. A working group comprising members of the cathedral chapter, diocesan officers and representatives of survivors developed the series of events and services.

Antonia Sobocki, who hosted the UK’s first LOUDfence event in St Peter’s, Kirkbampton, in 2020, and who is a member of the Safeguarding Season working group, initially suggested installing LOUDfence at the cathedral.

Antonia said: “I recently posted pictures of the Carlisle LOUDfence page and my Twitter and Facebook pages have gone crazy. I have requests for tape from all over the world. The founders of LOUDfence contacted me to send me their support and asked me to tie ribbons on their behalf. I spent the week compiling lists of ribbon and message requests from Twitter and Facebook.

“I am so happy that people have this very visible public exposure through which they can support and accompany those affected by abuse. Our message will be louder than ever: we believe you, we hear you, and we will do all we can to make sure this does not happen again. The hope is that this LOUDfence will give more survivors a voice, for their own sake, for others and for the whole church.

The LOUDfence facility will extend over 20 meters on the south side of the cathedral.

In addition to tying ribbons to it, people will have other opportunities to stop, reflect and pray for survivors of sexual abuse.

The Reverend Canon Dr Benjamin Carter, Canon Director of the Cathedral and its Safeguarding Officer led the working group in the development of the Safeguarding Season.

He said: “It has been wonderful to work alongside Antonia in the development of LOUDfence and to have her invaluable contribution within the working group.

“Our Saving Season revolves around three key themes: the church’s need to mourn, listen and learn from abuse survivors. The LOUDfence facility offers a wonderful way to do this and it beautifully complements all of the other thematic backup services and prayer stations that are offered as part of the season.

“While nothing can be said or done to right the wrongs of the past, our hope and prayer is that survivors of sexual abuse will find solace in this LOUDfence and indeed in all that shapes this save season. . “

Weekly Eucharistic services also focus on the themes of truth and justice and there is a dedicated prayer space in a side chapel with the option to light candles and tie colorful ribbons to a prayer tree. , which will later be linked to LOUDfence. Pastoral support is also offered to anyone affected by abuse and who makes a request for additional help.

Anyone affected by the issues raised above is encouraged to contact Safe Spaces: an independent service that supports survivors of church-related abuse.

This independent service is run by the charity Victim Support and funded by the Church of England in collaboration with the Catholic Church of England and Wales and the Church of Wales. It is free to access by phone, e-mail or web-chat.

Tel: 0300 303 1056 (answering machine available outside opening hours)

E-mail: [email protected]

WebChat – via the Safe Spaces website


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