Liverpool Diocese Responds to Modern-day Slavery and Human Trafficking

According to a BBC report earlier this year, the number of people reported as potential victims of slavery and human trafficking in the UK has more than doubled in the past three years with 3,805 referred for help in 2016. [1]

As a Diocese, we are conscious of this issue and Rev Christel Erving is taking up the role of the Liverpool Diocese Anti-Trafficking Project Co-ordinator. She is charged with developing our strategy for tackling this growing problem. The role is voluntary and she will combine this with her duties as a curate.
We caught up with Christel, Curate at St Mary’s, Wavertree to talk about her role and want she wants to achieve.
"I've recently met with senior police officers and other agencies involved in tackling modern slavery, the greatest issue for them is identifying trafficked or enslaved people. And one of the biggest barriers to tackling modern slavery and human trafficking is the general public’s lack of awareness. Because of their location; generally, they’re central to or close to a community, churches are uniquely placed to help. The person in the pew really can make a bigger difference. They can be the eyes and ears of their community and look out for the person who is working at the nail bar at the end of your road, the person washing your car or the neighbour in the flat housing what looks like too many people to hold.”
As the Anti-Trafficking Project Co-ordinator, Christel will work with the Clewer Initiative and Triangle of Hope project to equip individuals, parishes and schools to be able to identify and challenge modern-day slavery and human trafficking. She’ll be reviewing resources already available to enable this objective, signposting the people of the Diocese to where they can find the most relevant help.
She said:
“Awareness of the problem is the first stage. We need to educate people about the signs to look for, as congregations really can make a bigger difference to those suffering the effects of modern-day slavery.”
Christel encourages us all to become involved, as its part of the vocation of every Christian. If you or your church are interested in working to tackle modern slavery across our diocese or just finding out more about the project please contact her.
Christel Erving
[1] BBC April 2017