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29 Mar 2017

A New Rose to Remember Those Held in Modern Slavery

Sisters from the Twickenham community joined the Chaplaincy at St Mary's planting a Modern Slavery Rose in the grounds. 

The rose was bred specially for last year’s Chelsea flower show where the Modern Slavery garden won the people‘s choice.

Slavery still exists in today’s world, it is all around us, hidden behind closed doors. There was a big Conference here at St Mary’s recently gathering participants from most of the agencies involved: it was also to inaugurate the Centre for the Study of Modern Slavery here at the university. The Centre aims to gather necessary information and to help the co-ordination of the many agencies, NGOs and others involved. Slavery and trafficking are growing problems.

For the planting co-ordination was necessary. The grounds staff looked after the rose till the appointed time, March 25th or thereabouts, the second anniversary of the passing of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 here in the UK: the rose had been donated by the Sisters of the Assumption. Carole Murphy from the Centre gave a short speech explaining what we were doing: we had a small liturgy after which Fr Peter, the chaplain, gave both the hole and the rose a blessing holy water. There were one or two students present, someone from the theology department and an eminent professor from education, amongst others.

It is hoped this little gesture will help to raise awareness of the scourge of modern slavery. We plan a plaque to go with the rose in the near future to help us be aware and awake to what may be happening not far from us…

Sr Jessica, ra

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