Early March saw the joint hosting of the ‘LOUDfence’ Event at St Mary’s Cathedral and Newcastle Cathedral in Newcastle.

The LOUDfence movement is an international initiative that aims to raise awareness and show support for victims and survivors of abuse. Its powerful symbolism involves tying brightly coloured ribbons to fences as a visible sign of solidarity. These ribbons represent both compassion and determination to break the silence surrounding abuse.

At St Mary’s Cathedral, the LOUDfence was on display both inside and outside the cathedral. Visitors were greeted by a vibrant array of ribbons fluttering in the wind. Each ribbon represented a survivor, a supporter, or someone who refuses to remain silent. The cathedral featured a display of creative work titled ‘Jagged Edges’. Artwork together with poetry and music was developed by survivors of church-related abuse. Together they served as a poignant reminder of the resilience and strength of those who have endured trauma.

A thought-provoking display of shoes was also created on the alter at the cathedral in recognition of all the children, laity and clergy that have been victims of abuse.

To show further support for victims and survivors of abuse there was a ‘Survivors Mass’ celebrated by Bishop Stephen on Tuesday 30 April 2024.