At the last Diocesan Synod in March Reigate Deanery proposed a motion (click here) calling for Churches to take action against knife crime. What support the Church can offer to reduce knife crime?
- Offering support to the victims and perpetrators and their families and friends.
- Supporting our schools to reduce exclusion through the roles of church youth workers and other ministers.
- Providing alternatives such as knife bins and safe places for children from the end of school until parents and guardians return home.
- Offering positive male role models, to help young men who’ve had no father figure, understand how to deal with anger.
This motion is now being taken forward to General Synod and Revd Canon Dr Rosemarie Mallett has been talking about these proposals in the national news.
We also discussed these issues at the last Deanery Synod and are working out how we can use our deanery structure to protect our young people from violence. One possible response is to raise money for a knife bin to be placed where it’s most needed. Can we open our doors to our young people? Or is there something else we can do?
We are raising these questions in our indvidual Churches and will report back and discuss further at the next Deanery Synod in October.
We decided as a deanery that we would like to fund a Knife Bin via Word 4 Weapons to be placed somewhere in the Diocese where it would be most needed. £10,000 is needed to fund a bin for five years as follows:
- £4,000 manufacture, delivery, 1st year maintenance
- £1,535 subsequent annual maintenance
It works out as £5.70 for each person on the electoral rolls of Richmond & Barnes, around £750 per church or less than £2.50 per church each week for five years.
At the October 2019 Synod it was reported that there had been a good initial response to the appeal so far.
At the January 2020 Synod, it was reported that we are now confident our target will be reached. Parishes have responded in different ways – some have promised money from the PCC (some with a one-off donation and some spreading over a number of years), some are holding their own appeal.
The next stage is exploring where the bin should be placed and we will report back to the Deanery Synod once we are clearer on the location, following discussion with Word4Weapons and the Diocese’s social justice team. Word4Weapons are keen that the bins should be placed within Church premises.
Recent comments from Word4Weapons highlight the difference a knife bin makes and how crucial the location is. In a three-month period one bin had collected 40 knives and one bin had collected 300 knives. A very powerful illustration of need.