In 2019, the Diocese of London ran a Lent Appeal focussing on Modern Day Slavery and its effects on life in London. This was to build on the work of the Clewer Initiative, part of the national church’s approach to eradicating modern day slavery which was launched by Archbishop Justin in October 2017. The campaign called for a community wide response to modern slavery – developing partnerships between the Church, statutory and non-statutory agencies to create a network of advocates seeking to end Modern Day Slavery.
As Bishop Sarah explained
There are at least 40 million victims of modern day slavery in the world today, and tens of thousands in the UK. In one of the wealthiest countries in the world, in a capital city heralded for its history and culture, modern slavery is thriving. Thousands are forced into domestic servitude, forced labour or sexual exploitation in plain sight of Londoners, and many more are at risk of falling through the cracks, hidden from the view of the authorities, charities and the church. Behind those statistics there are real people. Whether it be a woman or girl trafficked to work in the illegal sex trade, a man forced to work on a construction site or a child married against their will, none are free.
Micah tells us that “he has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” This may be the best-known passage from the book of Micah – it is full of words and phrases that occur throughout scripture: justice, love, kindness, a walk with God. We should bear this in mind, that life can be safely travelled only if it is made “with God.”