Bishop of Southwark to speak at Synergy Network website launch

The Bishop of Southwark, The Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, will be speaking at the launch of the new website of Diocesan partner, The Synergy Network (SN), on 1 December. SN is a growing coalition of churches, para-church groups and Christian agencies working together to end serious youth violence (SYV) in Britain and Ireland.

The website launch will take place in a webinar from 3pm to 5pm and will also feature presentations from senior Metropolitan Police Officer, Jeff Boothe.

The new website will enable anyone to find information, or access resources, on all aspects of SYV, such as statistics and practical advice and information. It also includes resources on how individuals can get involved in this work and the best ways to do this.

Bishop Christopher said,

“I am extremely proud that the Diocese of Southwark is a founding member of the Synergy Network which puts partnership working at the heart of its agenda. This website will equip church groups across the country to work together in combating serious youth violence.” 

He continued,

This week we remember the tragic murder of 10- year-old Damilola Taylor 20 years ago. It is a tragedy that since his death, serious youth crime in our towns and cities has continued to grow, particularly in South London. Families are grieving the loss of many young people and we must work together to combat this terrible and shocking challenge to us all.”

One of the website’s unique features is a searchable database that enables anyone to locate organisations, projects and individuals tackling SYV in their area. The website lists more than 100 organisations. Richard Reddie, Director of Justice and Inclusion at Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, who led on website development, said,

“We know that this is only a segment of what is taking place around the country. After the launch, we expect to be contacted by groups wanting to have a presence on the website.”

The Synergy Network comprises organisations and churches, including the Diocese of Southwark, that came together to host the ground-breaking “Standing Together day of Prayer and Action” rally at Trafalgar Square, London on Saturday 6 April 2019. This gathering was a call to action for churches to stand alongside those affected by violent crime in Britain. Since then, SN has followed this up with events involving church leaders, youth workers and young people.                                        

The Revd Canon Stephen Coulson, the vicar of St Mark, Kennington, said,

“A website like this can identify who and where support or advice can be obtained if you are concerned about a vulnerable young person. Often, there is a desire to do something, but no guidance on how best to do this.”

The Archdeacon of Croydon, The Venerable Dr Rosemarie Mallett, said,

“Serious youth violence continues to ravage our society and the lives of young people and their families throughout the country.There is very good work being undertaken to try to find ways to stop unnecessary deaths of young people, offer support to families and to educate as many as possible so that there is concerted work to bring change. It’s vital that we connect those who are doing excellent work with those who need support. This website will fill the existing void, enabling the establishment of partnerships, relationships and collaborative activities.”

To attend the Synergy Network website launch on Tuesday 1 December from 3pm to 5pm click here:

Following this crucial launch, the Archdeacon of Croydon, Rosemarie Mallett, will be co-chairing the Black and Blue webinar, organised by Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) on Wednesday 2 December from 7.30pm to 9.00pm. Present and former serving Black police officers will share their views on Black Lives Matter, institutional racism, Stop and Search and related law and order issues. The event is presented in partnership with the Diocese of Southwark, Ascension Trust, The Methodist Church and CTBI. To register click here

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