Churches have a crucial role to play in detecting modern slavery and human trafficking, a key meeting will hear next month.
Rooted in local communities, churches are well placed to observe and respond to signs of slavery and to help victims, according to a report for the Church’s Governing Body which will meet in Swansea on September 11-12.
Modern slavery and human trafficking will be the focus of one motion at the meeting. The UK’s first independent anti-slavery commissioner, Kevin Hyland, will outline the issue in an address and members will be asked to consider slavery and human trafficking as “crimes against humanity” and to commit to working to combat them and support victims.
“From the time of William Wilberforce and Hannah Moore, Christians have been at the forefront of the fight against slavery itself, and in combating the criminal or exploitative activities into which victims are drawn,” says the Revd Canon Carol Wardman, Bishops’ Advisor for Church and Society, who wrote the report. “Working in co-operation with the statutory authorities and other NGOs, the Church in Wales is well-placed to take advantage of opportunities to raise awareness, offer help and continue to support in prayer all efforts to end the atrocities of slavery, trafficking and criminal exploitation in the world today.”
Other items on the Governing Body agenda include:
Launch of the Church’s Centenary Appeal
The Church in Wales is marking its centenary in 2020 by launching a major appeal to support two important causes – one at home and one abroad. The Centenary Appeal aims to raise at least £100,000 – £10,000 per year for each project over five years. The projects are:
- Peacekeeping work in South Sudan, through the Christian Aid charity
- Preventing homelessness in Wales through Housing Justice Cymru
Mission and Evangelism
New ways of growing the church through mission and evangelism will be the focus of the first day of the meeting. Items will include:
- A focus on life events – baptisms, weddings and funerals – by Dr Sandra Millar, head of projects and developments, for the Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council;
- A presentation on pioneer ministry – which reaches out to people who don’t have any connection with church;
- An update on the first project to be awarded money from the Evangelism Fund – Hope Street, a new church in Wrexham.
The Governing Body has 144 members, including the diocesan bishops and elected clergy and lay people from across Wales. It meets twice a year.
This meeting takes places at Swansea University’s Bay campus. It begins at 9.30am on September 11.
The full agenda and copies of all the reports are available online at: