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Opening times

  • Saturdays and Sundays
    8am-5pm
  • Mondays to Fridays
    8am-6pm
  • Café 16
    Mon-Sat 10am-4pm
  • FREE ENTRY

Looking Ahead to LOUDfence

This article is by Maggi Creese, Newcastle Cathedral’s Safeguarding Adviser. It was written for Link, the monthly newspaper for the Diocese of Newcastle.

LOUDfence is a protest movement that started in Australia in 2015. The original idea was to tie brightly-coloured ribbons to a fence as a sign of support for and solidarity with survivors and victims of child sexual abuse. These ‘loud’ ribbons also represent a determination to break the silence around abuse. In coordination with our Roman Catholic colleagues in the Diocese of Hexham and Newcastle, LOUDfences will be set up inside and outside Newcastle Cathedral and St Mary’s Cathedral during the first week of March. The event will begin with an opening Mass at 11:30am at St Mary’s Cathedral on Sunday 3 March, followed by a procession to Newcastle Cathedral.

Our LOUDfence event has been planned by Sarah Troughton, David Creese and Peter Locke, survivors of church-related abuse brought together by the Chaplaincy to Survivors. They would like our physical fence to express support for and solidarity with victims and survivors of all forms of abuse in the Church. If you’re unable to leave a ribbon in person, you’re welcome to submit a virtual ribbon via the form below. Your message will be transcribed onto a tag and hung from a ribbon on our LOUDfence.

Add a Virtual Ribbon to our LOUDfence

You are welcome to submit a virtual ribbon via the form below. Your message will be transcribed onto a tag and hung from a ribbon on our LOUDfence.

(Optional)
(Optional)

The group of survivors wanted to find a way to make the fence speak with something more distinctive than ribbons on their own. Last month, we put out a call to all parishes for crafted strawberries inspired by the artwork from ‘If I Told You, What Would You Do?’* to tie onto our fence. We have been moved by the enthusiastic response from many knitting groups and individuals. Through these beautiful, ‘loud’ strawberries, crafters from all over the Diocese have joined their voices with those harmed in and by the Church.

Newcastle Cathedral will mark the LOUDfence with a Service of the Word at 7pm on Wednesday 6 March. Bishop Mark Wroe (Bishop of Berwick), Bishop Helen-Ann (Bishop of Newcastle), and other supporters will take part in the service, which Sarah, David and Peter have planned. Refreshments will follow. Attendees will have the opportunity to add a ribbon, strawberry or written message to the LOUDfence.

Alongside the LOUDfence in Newcastle Cathedral – on public display from Monday 4 until Friday 8 March – there will be a preview of a new creative project, based on the Stations of the Cross, entitled Jagged Edges. Sarah, David and Peter are co-creating their own set of stations, each approaching the gospel passion narratives from their own perspective and using a different artistic medium (linocut prints, poetry, music). When complete, Jagged Edges will become a resource for use in contexts like liturgy, Lent courses and Bible studies. We will launch these materials in spring 2025.

* ‘If I Told You, What Would You Do?’ is the name of a strategy jointly funded by Safe Spaces and the Diocese of Newcastle, which aims to engage with survivors of faith-based abuse, as well as with those who need to see, hear and respond well to them. Find out more.

LOUDfence Service in Support of Victims and Survivors of Abuse

Attendees can add a ribbon, strawberry or written message to the LOUDfence at the service on Wednesday 6 March.

Find out more