Resource to help churches respond to serious youth violence

We’ve created the “Pietà Prayer Resource” to help churches, schools and other chaplaincies respond when someone is lost in their communities to violence, or there are youth violence related incidents.

This comprehensive resource includes Church of England liturgical settings & prayers to use in Christian worship settings.

We have also provided a background theological reflection.

This resource is free to download and share and we hope will be used widely.

If you’d like to receive a hard copy in the post, get in touch with us here.

Please include your church or school name, and the address you’d like it posted to.


Download the Pietà Prayer Resource for free

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The Pietà Art Competition 2023

The Pietà Competition was run across spring term in 2023 in church schools across Southwark and London.

The competition asked young people in schools and academies across both Dioceses to reflect on Michelangelo’s “Pietà” sculpture, contemplate the themes around serious youth violence in our culture and then create their own “Pietà” artwork.

You can download a PDF version of the winning pieces of artwork above, or you can view them at the bottom of this page.

Teaching Resources

Teaching resources were created for this project and are available for other schools and youth groups to use if they wish.

The teaching resources have been designed to create multiple opportunities for learning that highlights Christian distinctiveness whilst creating excellent collaboration opportunities between colleagues working in RE, Art and Chaplaincy.

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What is the ‘Pietà Project’?

The most famous Pietà, created by Michaelangelo is a sculpture depicting Mary the mother of Jesus cradling her son’s crucified body after death.

The aim of the project is to inspire deeper prayer and engagement on the issue of serious youth violence across our city.

Firstly, young people across our schools were asked to contemplate the image of the Pietà and create their own.

The winning images from this competition are now offered as use as a point of reflection contemplation and a call to pray.

The winning artworks have been featured in the Pietà Prayer resource, a booklet of liturgy and prayer, created to be used to support Christians across London to pastorally engage with the impact of serious youth violence.

The resource along with winning images is available for churches, schools, chaplaincies and other Christian communities across Dioceses of Southwark and London.

Overall, the Pietà project seeks to inspire prayer on the issue by contemplating the image of the Pietà, not only as the central tragedy of our Christian faith but as a prophetic recognition of the ‘powers and principalities’ (Ephesians 6:12) of social inequalities, systemic failure and violent exploitation and abuse that have continued to create need, risk and harm for young people in our city.

Who is involved in the Pieta Project?

This is a project that spans London and Southwark Dioceses.

It is being administrated and organised by the Compassionate Communities Team in Diocese of London, and working in collaboration with London Diocesan Board of Schools (LDBS) and Southwark Diocesan Board of Education (SDBE).

Pietà Competition Winners Artwork