Parishes in north Staffordshire are leading the way in our partnership project with anti-slavery charity the Medaille Trust.

Thirteen parishes in the north of the Archdiocese have snapped up the opportunity to hear from an Anti-Slavery Envoy on how we can all help in the fight against modern slavery.

Back in February 2019 the Archdiocese joined forces with the Medaille Trust to launch a six-year ‘Look Up’ awareness campaign.

As part of this call to action Garry Smith, CEO of the Medaille Trust, and Archbishop Bernard Longley, signed a pledge to work together for the benefit of those suffering from modern slavery. The pledge is on display at Cathedral House.

During its first year the ‘Look Up’ and acknowledge campaign will be highlighted in the deaneries of North Staffordshire, Birmingham Cathedral and Banbury.

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 eager to get involved will be visited by the Medaille Trust and awarded a ‘Make the Pledge’ certificate.

So far the following parishes have received a talk, and all awarded a certificate (below):

Our Lady and St Benedict, Abbey Hulton; St George and St Martin, Birches Head; Sacred Heart, Hanley; St Gregory, Longton; St Maria Goretti, Bucknall; St Joseph, Burslem; Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, Fenton; St Wulstan, Wolstanton; St John the Evangelist, Chesterton; St Mary, Leek; Our Blessed Lady and St John the Baptist, Ashley; Our Lady and St Werburgh, Clayton; St Mary, Norton.

A spokesperson for the Medaille Trust said: “We would like to express our sincere thanks to the parishes that have been involved in the start of our journey across the Archdiocese of Birmingham.

“We look forward to hearing from other parishes in the three highlighted deaneries over the coming months.

“Your time and support will enable us to continue our vital work to combat human slavery and continue to support the victims, through our safe houses and support work.

“Thanks to the increased awareness and partnership work we are seeing an increased number of victims being identified.

“We hope that you will join us in Making the Pledge and look forward to meeting all the parishes over the coming six years.”

Over the coming months representatives from the Medaille Trust will start to visit parishes in the deaneries of Birmingham Cathedral and Banbury, with continued activity between the Archdiocese and the Trust ongoing until 2025.