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Lent Appeal 2021

The 2021 Diocese of London Lent Appeal will focus on Youth Violence. 

Youth violence, which is prevalent in London, is the intentional use of physical force or power to threaten or harm others by young people aged between 10-24 years. It typically involves young people hurting peers who are unrelated to them and who they may or may not know well. Youth violence can include fighting, bullying, threats with weapons, and gang-related violence. A young person can be involved with youth violence as a victim, offender, or witness.

  • In England and Wales there were 47,349 Police-recorded offences involving a knife or sharp instrument in the 12 months to June 2020 [1]
  • There has been an 85% increase in knife crime in England and Wales since 2014 (comparing the 12 months from Jun 19 to Jul 20, with 12 months from Apr 13 to Mar 14)
  • 24 children aged just 17 or younger were murdered with a knife or sharp object in 2019. This represents the highest number of children murdered in over a decade.

The lent appeal will focus on both raising awareness of the issue, and raising money for three charities that challenge it.

The charities we are supporting

XLP Black 500x300

XLP stands for ‘The eXceL Project’. In 1996, in response to a stabbing in a school playground, the school’s headmaster asked Patrick Regan, who was then a local church-based youth worker, to come into the school, work with their students and teachers and help with difficult behavioural issues. XLP now operates across nine inner-city boroughs around London, working with over 4,500 young people each year through education, mentoring, sport and the arts.

TLG crop

TLG work through a nationwide network of partner churches, and are committed to reaching out to some of the most vulnerable children in the UK. With expertise in school exclusions, emotional wellbeing and holiday hunger, TLG is one of the UK’s fastest growing children’s charities.

redthread crop 500 x 300

Redthread embeds specialist youth workers in hospital A&E departments across London and the Midlands. They meet young people during times of crisis, fear and trauma and endeavour to transform their experience of health systems and professional networks. As a result of working with Redthread, 95% of young people are less likely to be harmed again.

Resources for fundraising

Individuals can donate to the appeal on the Give.net website: give.net/LentAppeal2021

Information for treasurers on how to process congregational collections can be  downloaded here.

Lent Appeal Prayer 2021

O God, we come to you in sorrow,
knowing that young people
are wounded by knife crime
and daily injured by cycles of hurt and recrimination.

We pray that through the work of churches, charities, and community groups,
weapons will be turned in, violence will cease,
and crisis will be transformed into hope;
so that each may find their safe haven
and contribute to a kingdom of love.

May the blessings of peace be inherited in this generation today.


Written for the Diocese of London Lent Appeal 2021 by the Bishop of Stepney

Click here to download PowerPoint slides containing the prayer.

Click here to download the prayer in a Word document.

Click the image or text link below to view and download the A4 poster, either to print off and display or to circulate digitally.

Lent appeal 2021 poster

A sermon by Bishop Joanne, using the readings for 27 March, on youth violence and referring to the Lent appeal and Uche’s story (from the XLP website).

Click here to view it on Vimeo (where you can download the video or stream it for your service)

Click here to download a Word document of the sermon.

Or view the text version on our website here.

1) XLP: Uche’s story
Uche had his bike stolen and was then stabbed. Four operations and some time later, he met Ian from XLP who worked with him to help turn his anger and desire for revenge into a positive energy to transform his life for good.
Original film link here.

1) TLG: Rory’s story
When he first came into contact with TLG, Rory was an angry student that found himself excluded from a very good school. Upon arriving at a TLG Education Centre he found himself at a crossroad, and he knew it was time to make some big decisions.
Original film link here.

3) Redthread: the teachable moment
A BBC News report on Redthread’s work in London trauma units, and finding the ‘teachable moment’ to cut youth violence.
View Redthread’s full video playlist here.


1. Appeal poster on a PP slide - widescreenDownload
1. Appeal poster on a PP slide - standard sizeDownload
2. Presentation short version - widescreenDownload
2. Presentation short version - standard sizeDownload
3. Presentation with charity info- widescreenDownload
3. Presentation with charity info- standard size Download
Speakers notes short - presentation 2.docxDownload
Speakers notes with charities - presentation 3.docxDownload

[1] Statistics from benkinsella.org.uk

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