Clewer Initiative

The Clewer Initiative was initially a 3-year project to enable Church of England dioceses and wider Church networks to develop strategies to detect modern slavery in their communities and help provide victim support and care. It involved working with the Church locally, identifying resources that could be utilised, developing partnerships with others, and creating a wider network of advocates seeking to end modern slavery together. Nationally, it involved developing a network of practitioners committed to sharing models of best practice and providing evidenced based data to resource the Church’s national engagement with statutory and non-statutory bodies. It has now evolved, having secured funding until 2030.

The Diocese of Portsmouth became a participating Diocese.

  • Portsmouth Diocese continues as a Participating Member of The Clewer Initiative as it moves into the next phase. The Clewer Initiative has secured funding for a further 10 years, 2020-2030. It is therefore moving from a 3-year project into a period of sustained awareness raising, and action at a local, national and international level. There will be opportunities for new partnerships and further opportunities to build upon the solid foundation that has already been achieved. This is good news as it enables existing resources around awareness raising and opportunities for victim/ survivor support to continue with further support and new resources from the national team. Modern slavery touches all aspects of our lives, so whether it’s from a consumer perspective related to the supply chain of what we eat, the clothes we wear, the materials that support our lifestyle, to issues associated to climate change, partnering with established modern slavery victim support charities or starting some awareness locally, there is plenty to engage with.

The Church of England’s Clewer Initiative was introduced to us at the Modern Slavery event at Portsmouth Cathedral in January 2017 by its project lead, Caroline Virgo. It is a three-year fixed-term project (July 2016 to March 2019) which has grown out of the collaborative work undertaken over the last three years between the Bishop of Derby and the Mission and Public Affairs Division (MPA) as a result of the Modern Day Slavery Act (2015).

The project will use an asset-based community methodology to enable Church of England dioceses, and wider Church networks, to develop strategies to detect instances of modern-day slavery in the community, and to assist in the provision of victim support and care. The assistance to dioceses and Church networks will be carefully tailored to specific contexts and needs.

To find out more visit:

Bishop Alastair Redfern is Chair of the Clewer Initiative and a Co-Founder of The Global Sustainability Network.

For many people Slavery is something that happens elsewhere, to other people. The Christian Gospel recognises that all human beings face the temptation to become enslaved to sin and selfishness. Modern Slavery is driven by the demand of consumers for cheap, personalised goods and services. The focus is on benefit to the purchaser, with little attention paid to the plight of the providers. Through this indifference the criminal exploitation of vulnerable people is allowed to grow.

Participants at the Modern Slavery Awareness Day at our cathedral

The Safe Car Wash app

The Safe Car Wash app has been developed to allow the general public to engage with the problem, it is a new tool that will enable the largest community intelligence gathering exercise ever attempted in the United Kingdom.

Download the free app onto your smartphone and then when you are using a hand car wash, simply open the app and complete a short survey about the working conditions of the car wash.

On Sunday 7th April, 2019, the University of Nottingham’s Rights Lab released a report on the use and effectiveness of the Safe Car Wash app since its launch. We’ve made available a summary presentation (in PowerPoint and PDF formats) for download.


The Clewer Initiative
The Portsmouth Story
Breaking County Lines online
An introduction to our training
Hidden Voices, Homelessness, General Training with the GLAA, Rural Toolkit
Church Wardens Training
Food Banks
WITS Lent 2021
Women in the Shadows – a course that focuses on the different ways women and girls are exploited in the UK today.
Children and young people
Collective Worship Primary, Collective Worship Secondary, Lesson Plans
Farm Work Welfare
Spot the signs of modern slavery in rural areas