To show support to victims and survivors of abuse, St Chad’s Cathedral is hosting a LOUDfence next month and all are welcome to join.

A LOUDfence involves tying LOUD (brightly coloured) ribbons and messages of support in public spaces. The aim is to give survivors a voice, create and raise awareness in the community and work to end abuse.

LOUDfence at St Chad's

Plans for the LOUDfence at St Chad’s Cathedral, running from Sunday 7 May to Saturday 13 May, are gaining momentum (please be aware the initiative pauses on Bank Holiday Monday, 8 May) and a programme of events and activities is now in place.

The LOUDfence will be located outside the cathedral on the railings between the entrance to Cathedral House and the book shop, as well as just inside in the Bell Chamber.

Visitors will also be able to visit the Grimshaw Room to see a number of ‘Safeguarding in Action’ displays and ‘Transformation’ artwork from the Angels Creative Project – a series of ten angels representing phases of transformation experienced following church related abuse.

Representatives from various organisations will be on hand, together with the Diocesan Safeguarding Team. A quiet reflection space will also be available.

On Sunday 7 May, the 11.30am Mass at the cathedral will be celebrated by Archbishop Bernard Longley, and the 12.15pm Mass on Tuesday 9 May marks the National Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse.

A mindfulness craft workshop will also take place on Thursday 11 May.

Visitors attending LOUDfence do not have to go inside the cathedral to take part, alternatively they can access the Grimshaw Room.

About LOUDfence

The LOUDfence at St Chad’s is being supported by Antonia Sobocki, the UK Project Manager for LOUDfence UK, friends at St Philip’s Cathedral in Birmingham and the Survivor Engagement Panel which works closely with the Safeguarding Team.

Tying ribbons to the Lourdes Loudfence

LOUDfence is a survivor-led initiative and is rapidly gaining international attention.

Earlier this month a LOUDfence was hosted at a meeting of the Bishops’ Conference in Lourdes and at the National Conference of the Ordained Religious of France, held in Paris.  There are also activists in Spain and Germany.

A number of cathedrals and churches across England have already, or are going to be, hosting LOUDfences over the coming months.

Monsignor Tim Menezes, Dean of St Chad’s Cathedral, said:

“The impact of LOUDfences is growing, both in terms of visibility and understanding.

“I encourage all across the Archdiocese of Birmingham to show their support to victims and survivors of abuse. Come along and tie a ribbon, write a message or prayer of support.

“This is an opportunity for us all to stand together in solidarity and support of those affected by abuse.”

*For those who cannot attend the LOUDfence in person there will be the chance to submit an online message of support and/or have a ribbon tied on your behalf. Details will be released in due course.

Find out more about Safeguarding in the Archdiocese of Birmingham: