Safeguarding Season returns to Carlisle Cathedral this month, to further lament, listen and learn from the survivors of abuse. The three-week Season has been organised by Carlisle Cathedral, working in partnership with Churches Together in Cumbria, LOUDfence and The Diocese of Carlisle.
The Season will begin on Sunday 15 October – nationally designated as Safeguarding Sunday – and will run until Friday 3 November, All Survivors’ Day.
The Very Revd Jonathan Brewster, Dean of Carlisle, said “We look forward to hosting our third Safeguarding Season at Carlisle Cathedral which will include a visual representation of our support to those affected by abuse through the LOUDfence installation. During the Season there will be an opportunity for reflection through services and prayer and the Cathedral will provide a safe space for conversation. We continue to pledge our unwavering commitment to Safeguarding and will work together with our partner organisations to ensure this is consistent throughout the Diocese.”
The Right Revd Robert Saner-Haigh, Bishop of Penrith, added “As a Church, we are here to lament about the part we have played, not only in perpetrating abuse but also in standing by and not standing up to it. We need to listen to the voices of those who have survived, and we are learning how to make the Church a safer place for all.”
The season will begin with a Safeguarding Sunday service in the Cathedral, on 15 October at 10.30am, which will include a recommitment to the safeguarding pledge, set out during the first Safeguarding Season hosted in 2021. The pledge, adopted by Carlisle Cathedral Chapter, commits to:
- share responsibility for creating an environment that is safe for all.
- pray for our safeguarding leads and those working with children and adults.
- respect the boundaries that are in place to protect others.
- support those in our church who have been hurt or abused.
- provide on-going safeguarding training for all our workers.
- allow sufficient time and resources to make our recruitment of workers safer.
- maintaining an open culture where people are encouraged to share concerns.
- not take offence when challenged about our presence or behaviour.
Weekly Eucharist services, held on each Wednesday at 12.30pm during the Season, will also focus on the themes of peace and justice. There will be a dedicated place of prayer in a side chapel with an opportunity to light candles and tie coloured ribbons to a prayer tree. Directly after the services, a space for conversation will be available in the Undercroft.
On Wednesday 1 November a LOUDfence installation will also be created in the Cathedral grounds, at which people will be able to tie ribbons to railings, to represent survivors’ voices.
Antonia Sobocki, Director of LOUDfence said: “LOUDfence is a visible display of support and solidarity with those affected by abuse. The ribbons tied to this fence represent the voices of those who wish to speak out in support and defence of those affected by abuse.
“We want all survivors and victims of abuse to know that we believe you, we will hear and support you and we will do all we can to prevent this happening again. People will be invited to join by tying a ribbon, pausing to reflect, offering a prayer and making a resolution.”
The LOUDfence installation will run along the south side of the Cathedral. People will be invited to tie ribbons to the fence to amplify the voice of survivors. Ribbons will be available from the Cathedral’s Gift Shop and Café.
Arrangements are also being put in place to ensure pastoral support is offered to anyone who has been affected by abuse and who makes an approach for further help.
Anyone affected by the issues raised above is encouraged to contact Safe Spaces: an independent service supporting survivors of church-related abuse.
This independent service is run by the charity Victim Support and funded by the Church of England together with the Catholic Church in England and Wales and the Church in Wales. It is free to access via telephone, email or web-chat.
- Tel: 0300 303 1056 (answerphone available outside of opening times)
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- WebChat – via the Safe Spaces website