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Cathedral Mothers Union group installs red bench

Justice & Advocacy

“The idea of having a red bench at the Cathedral began when Betty Taylor, founder of the Red Rose Foundation, was a guest speaker at a Mothers Union gathering in 2021. The Red Rose Foundation works to eliminate domestic and family violence related deaths,” says Secretary of St John’s Cathedral Mothers Union, Glynis Jenkins

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The idea of having a red bench at the Cathedral began when Betty Taylor, founder of the Red Rose Foundation, was a guest speaker at a Mothers Union gathering in 2021. The Red Rose Foundation works to eliminate domestic and family violence related deaths.

The St John’s Cathedral Mothers Union group believed that a red bench at the Cathedral would represent our dedication to changing the outcome of domestic abuse. The Red Bench Project was launched in 2019 by the Red Rose Foundation, who encourages the installation of red benches as permanent reminders that domestic violence occurs within our communities and that we have the power to “change the ending”.

The bench was paid for by generous community members and we then waited patiently for its arrival. The bench is made of 100 per cent recycled plastic and arrived some time ago. It sat in the Cathedral for some months as we waited for the necessary heritage approval before we could install it.

The bench was installed outside the Cathedral and blessed by The Very Rev’d Dr Peter Catt following the 9.30am Eucharist on Sunday 27 November during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.

This annual international campaign commences on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

The purpose of the bench is to raise awareness and encourage conversation about domestic and family violence within the Cathedral community. Because the Cathedral’s red bench is in a visible location, we hope that its presence will also raise awareness in the wider community.

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