The safeguarding team who organised LOUDfence Plymouth are delighted that on the 28th and 29th March, LOUDfence Lourdes will be taking place. LOUDfence events involve a visible display of support and solidarity with those who have been affected by abuse. Attendees and supporters tie ribbons around a fence, which include a messages of support. People are also able to send messages in virtually, which are then added. Here in Plymouth, a Mass for survivors was also celebrated by Fr Mark Skelton, which was inclusive and healing for all who came.

In an act of solidarity, to foster community and help to communicate the message of hope and reconciliation so palpable at the event here in our Diocese, Josephine Collins Attar, a wonderfully talented translator, writer, poet and teacher here in our Diocese, has translated Fr Mark’s beautiful poem ‘A sanctuary reclaimed’ for French speakers.

Sanctuaire Perdue et Récupéré.


Quand le mal était tenu hors de portée ,

Les gens trouvaient refuge ici.

Ceux qui sont venus rencontraient ceux qui les écoutaient

L’espoir soufflait doucement ,la  peur diminuait



Tout à coup, les portes se refermaient.

Les innocents  se retournèrent au bruit,

En voyant l’ombre, qui tournait la clé et

Des  ténèbres engloutissaient la terre sacrée.


Un arc en ciel filait de cette douleur,

Proclamant en couleur,un éventail de souffrances.

Des  voix, trop habituées à la honte, voyaient,

Dans cette clôture, tendu de rubans, un appel

Au changement.


Un appel pris dans le vent car

L’Esprit donne vie à la clôture

Et le Dieu de l’amour réjouit.



Please contact LOUDfence Lourdes organisers and activists Katherine at or Antonia Sobocki at if you would to send a virtual message or ribbon of support.

If you would like to know more about the work being done by our safeguarding team to help survivors of abuse please contact

The English version of Fr Mark Skelton’s poem is as follows:

Sanctuary lost but reclaimed
Once gates had kept the 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,
Proclaims 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.