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Carlisle Diocese
Carlisle Diocese
Carlisle Diocese
Carlisle Diocese
World News

Carlisle Cathedral to show support for sexual abuse survivors in ribbon display

by Cara Bentley

Carlisle Cathedral will host a sea of ribbons on the fence outside their building to symbolise support for victims of sexual abuse. 

The movement, called LOUDfence, first began in Victoria in Australia during the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. It came to the UK last year, initiated by 'End clergy abuse' activist Antonia Sobocki and Rochester Cathedral have also done the same. 

Ribbons will be tied to the fence of the Cathedral grounds from 1st- 3rd November and accompanies 'Safeguarding Season' where Cathedral chapter members, diocesan officers and representatives of survivors have developed events and services around safeguarding.

Antonia Sobocki, who organised the UK's first LOUDfence event at St Peter's, Kirkbampton, said: "I recently posted pictures of the Carlisle LOUDfence page and my Twitter and Facebook pages went crazy. I have ribbon requests from all around the world. The founders of LOUDfence contacted me to send their support and have asked me to tie ribbons on their behalf. I have spent the week compiling lists of ribbon and message requests from Twitter and Facebook.

"I'm so pleased that people will have this very visible public display through which they can support and draw alongside those people affected by abuse. Our message will be as strong as ever: we believe you, we hear you and we will do all we can to stop this from ever happening again."

The ribbon display will run for 20 yards on the south side of the Cathedral. It will be officially launched with a short ceremony at 11am on 1st November.

Rev Canon Dr Benjamin Carter, Canon Warden at the Cathedral and its lead for safeguarding has led the Safeguarding Season team.

"Our Safeguarding Season is based around three key themes: the need for the Church to lament, to listen and to learn from survivors of abuse. The LOUDfence installation offers a wonderful way in which this can be achieved and it complements beautifully all the other safeguarding themed services and prayer stations that are offered up as part of the season.

"Whilst 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 comfort from this LOUDfence and, indeed, from all that forms this Safeguarding Season."

Weekly Eucharist services are also focusing on the themes of truth and justice and pastoral support is also being offered to anyone affected by abuse. 

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

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