IslingtonTribune

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Church leads with amnesty knife bin

27 June, 2019 — By John Gulliver

Revd Marjorie Brown

WHY is St Mary’s in Primrose Hill the only local church, apparently, to feature a knife bin where youngsters caught up in the world of violence can deposit their weapons?

Why aren’t other churches in Camden, or community centres or Town Hall facilities, following its example?

St Mary’s isn’t the first church in London to install a knife bin or offer a “safe haven” for youngsters fleeing gang violence.

But it is among the first, thanks partly to its forward-looking minister Revd Marjorie Brown.

But the idea is catching on. At the coming General Synod of the Church of England, to be held in York, a paper by Revd Rosemarie Mallett, a Brixton priest and a friend of Revd Brown, will urge churches to install “safe havens”.

Rev Mallett is expected to also call on churches to provide knife “amnesty” bins to protect young people vulnerable to “county lines” exploitation.

The knife bin at St Mary’s was installed a year ago and is run by the charity Word4weapons which charges about £2,000 to maintain it. In its “first quarter”, 30 knives were deposited in the bin.

Other churches and community centres may be put off by its cost factor but annual fund-raising should help to solve that problem.

If it saves lives isn’t it worth it?

And how much thought have councillors given to the idea?

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