LOUDfence at Newcastle

05th March 2024

A LOUDfence can be found inside and outside Newcastle Cathedral this week alongside a display of creative work developed by survivors of church-related abuse.

LOUDfence now on display at Newcastle Cathedral

LOUDfence is an international movement which invites people to tie brightly coloured ribbons to a fence as a sign of support for and solidarity with victims and survivors of abuse.

These ‘loud’ ribbons also represent a determination to break the silence around abuse.

Newcastle Cathedral’s LOUDfence runs concurrently with a LOUDfence at St Mary’s Cathedral, Hexham and Newcastle’s Roman Catholic cathedral.

The LOUDfence project at Newcastle Cathedral has been led by three survivors of church-related abuse.

To accompany the ribbons, the survivors invite supporters to fill the fence with ‘loud’ strawberries, inspired by the artwork from ‘If I Told You, What Would You Do?’ 

And there is a service in the Cathedral this Wednesday led by survivors and attended by senior church clergy, including the Bishop of Newcastle, the Right Reverend Dr Helen-Ann Hartley, the Bishop of Berwick, the Right Reverend Mark Wroe and the Dean of Newcastle, the Very Reverend Lee Batson.

‘If I Told You, What Would You Do?’ is a project jointly funded by Safe Spaces and the Diocese of Newcastle to engage with survivors of faith-based abuse as well as with those who need to see, hear and respond to them to promote the physical, psychological and spiritual wellbeing of those who have experienced trauma and abuse in the church.

This includes providing peer support to victims and survivors and helping to build up the church’s communal resources of compassion and confidence in responding well to those who disclose abuse, no matter how long ago it happened.

This work is part of the implementation of the Church of England’s new Guidance on how to respond well to victims and survivors of all kinds of abuse.