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Knitting Chains to mark Anti-Slavery Day 2021

Marking Anti-Slavery Day With Knitted Chain Links

07 Oct 2021


The Beginning

Sparked by a discussion between The Clewer Initiative and Aurea Hart, the Diocesan President of the Bristol Mothers’ Union, Mothers’ Union members around the UK are knitting giant crochet chains to symbolise and remember the unseen victims of modern day slavery.

Bristol began making 951 chain links to represent the estimated 951 victims of modern slavery in Bristol. The giant chain will be unveiled at Bristol Cathedral’s Anti-Slavery Day service on Sunday 17th October.

The Idea Catches On

After hearing about the project, other Mothers’ Union branches are now also taking part, including Oxford, Cornwall and Manchester. Below is just a small snapshot of how some branches are marking Anti-Slavery Day:

  • Chester – Canon Jane Brooke, Vice Dean of Chester Cathedral, is working with Mothers’ Union to create 47 links for their crochet chain. 47 is to represent the people referred from slavery in Cheshire in 2020. On Sunday 17th October the links will be positioned down the middle of the aisle at Chester Cathedral and the procession will walk either side as part of its Anti-Slavery Day service.
  • Oxford – 752 chain links are being created to illustrate the potential victims in the towns of Reading, Oxford and Buckingham. The rector at Reading Minster will be given the chain on 18th October, when it will then be displayed for a week. After that, the chain will begin a journey round the branch churches in the diocese over the course of a year.
  • Manchester – Mothers’ Union aims to make 1,129 links. The long handcrafted chain will be unveiled on 14th October at Church House during the Mothers’ Union’s Manchester Autumn Council for MU members. Here it will be blessed and prayers said to mark Anti-Slavery Day.

From The Clewer Initiative

The director of The Clewer Initiative, Caroline Virgo says, “The Clewer Initiative and Mothers’ Union have formed a vital partnership over the last few years. We are united in our goal to end modern slavery and know that hundreds of Mothers’ Union members have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of modern slavery in their Dioceses…”


To find out more about the Clewer Intiative, please visit their website.