A new partnership to raise awareness of modern slavery is to launched at a special service at St Chad’s Cathedral next month.

The Archdiocese of Birmingham is joining forces with the Medaille Trust in a six-year awareness raising partnership.

The new initiative, called ‘Look Up’, will be launched on Friday 8 February as part of the Annual Service for Saint Josephine Bakhita Day.

Saint Josephine is the patron saint of human trafficking victims. She was sold as a slave several times out of her birthplace of Sudan into Italy.

The ecumenical service at St Chad’s Cathedral starts at 6pm and will feature music and spoken word to inspire and motivate everyone present, no matter what their beliefs or practice.

It will be led by His Grace, the most Reverend Bernard Longley, Archbishop of Birmingham, with guest speaker Rt Rev Dr Alastair Redfern, retired Anglican Bishop of Derby and chair of the Anti-Slavery Commissioners Advisory Panel.

Archbishop Longley has made a commitment to work with the Medaille Trust to make a stand and aim to end slavery.

The ‘Look Up’ and acknowledge campaign will be highlighted in the deaneries of North Staffordshire, Birmingham Cathedral and Banbury for the first 12 months.

Churches and individuals will be encouraged to pledge to support the victims of modern slavery and work together towards the eradication of all its forms.

Parishes will be visited by the Medaille Trust and awarded a ‘Make the Pledge’ certificate.

Continued activity between the Archdiocese and the Medaille Trust will be ongoing until 2025.

The Medaille Trust is a Catholic charity founded in 2006. With the support of Religious it has grown into the largest provider in the UK of safe house support for the victims of human trafficking and modern day slavery.

For more details about next month’s event see pages 10 and 11 of the Trust’s latest newsletter below or here