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Members of the Mothers’ Union in Blackburn Diocese have joined their counterparts across the country in participating in an awareness raising initiative held in response to Anti-Slavery Day this week.

It took place in collaboration with The Clewer Initiative (The Church of England’s response to modern slavery) and involved knitting chain links to represent the estimated numbers of victims of modern slavery in each Diocese.

Across the country each set of links was displayed in the local Diocesan cathedral on Anti-Slavery Day itself.  In Blackburn Diocese 560 links were knitted in about three weeks, with each link representing five people.

There are estimated to be at least 3000 victims of modern slavery in Lancashire.

Gill Ireland, Action and Outreach Coordinator for Mothers’ Union in Blackburn Diocese, commented: “The eye-catching chains are a powerful symbol that we hope will help people to grasp the true scale and horror of this issue in our communities.”

The links are pictured above, on display this week at Blackburn Cathedral.

On the table with the links was placed a prayer written by the Rt Revd Simon Burton-Jones, the Bishop of Tonbridge ... 



Lord, you are a God who sets the captives free.

Your Spirit searches restlessly for those in despair, that they may find the life you are calling them to.

We pray for those who are being trafficked and callously put to work in our region.

On the cross, you were powerless and subject to the cruelty of others. Look with mercy on those who suffer this way.

May we, who are blinded by the shallow distractions of daily life, feel the fear of the cornered and be roused to action.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord.






Ronnie Semley, October 2021