This week saw the installation of two new knife disposal bins at parishes in the Diocese of Westminster, fully funded by Caritas.
In October 2018, Caritas Westminster first worked on this important project, partly funding the knife bin installed at St Mellitus Parish, Tollington Park. The Parish were inspired to get involved in this important cause after tragically losing two teenage parishioners to knife crime in the last few years. St Mellitus’ were shocked to see 651 knives collected in the bin in the first 3 months after its installation, a horrifying figure but a crucial contribution to taking knives off our streets.
Since then, Caritas have been working to enable more parishes to getinvolved in this important project, including underwriting the full cost, and were very pleased to see two more parishes inspired to have knife bins installed. Both Our Lady of Lourdes and St Vincent de Paul Church, Harrow Road and Mary Immaculate and St Gregory the Great, High Barnet had their new knife bins installed this week.
The bins were all installed by the charity Words 4 Weapons, a Christian organisation who have helped take 35,000 weapons off the streets of London since they installed their first bin in 2009.
Fr Michael Jarmulowicz, from Our Lady of Lourdes and St Vincent de Paul Church, hosted the launch of their bin on Sunday 14th July 2019, bringing the local community together to support the initiative. He said ‘any knife taken off the streets is one knife less that can be used so thankfully we will be doing some good.’ He was joined at the launch by local MP Karen Buck, who said: ‘It takes a village to raise a child, I believe that very strongly … all our communities, including our churches, are part of being the community that brings up our children well and keeping them safe.’
However, the influence of the St Mellitus’ knife bin doesn’t stop there. Islington Council have now decided to offer to fully fund 5 further knife bins in the borough after seeing the impact at St Mellitus. We are thrilled to see this important work being recognised and encouraging further engagement with practical community initiatives against knife crime.
Caritas Westminster still have funding available for parishes across the Diocese to have a knife bin installed, so please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or to discuss how we can support your parish to engage on this issue.