Antonia Sobocki from LOUDfence has been at the Vatican advocating for survivors of abuse and for healing and reconciliation in our church. As part of her trip, she presented a poem written by Fr Mark Skelton to the Pope! Antonia said that Pope Francis described the poem ‘Sanctuary lost but Reclaimed’, as “Molto Bello”, and was visibly moved. Antonia said ‘The work of LOUDfence has been welcomed and recognised by Pope Francis! Such an amazing experience. Feeling quite emotional.’ Warmest thanks to Antonia for sharing this very touching news with us, and to Fr Mark and all our safeguarding team for their life changing work!

Sanctuary Lost but Reclaimed By Fr Mark Skelton

 Once gates had kept evil out

And people found their safety here,

For those who came met those who cared

And hope breathed gently, calming fear.

Then suddenly the doors clanged shut.

And Innocents turned to the sound

They saw the shadow turn the key,

And darkness swallowed holy ground.

Now rainbow, ribboned out of hurt

Proclaimed in colour sorrow’s range.

And voices, too long used to shame,

Now see in cloth their call for change.

A call which catches in the wind,

As Spirit breathes this fence to life.

And as the ribbons start to move

The God of love rejoices.


Ways you can help

The Safeguarding Team recently sent out an invitation to anyone with lived experience of abuse, asking them to get in touch if they would like to assist with the work we are doing to support survivors in the diocese.  A number of people responded to this request, and a meeting is now being arranged to discuss forming an advisory group for the diocese. The diocese is thankful to everyone who has got in touch, and for all their help and feedback that will greatly assist us in this important work.

The Safeguarding Team would welcome hearing from anyone else who has a lived experience of abuse, who would like to help us with this work.  We would appreciate the opportunity to hear survivors’ feedback and ideas so that we can improve our response to those who have been hurt by abuse.  If you would like to find out more about this, please contact:  Sophie Scagell (Survivor Support Caseworker) on 01364 645436 /