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OPC holds summit to tackle gun and knife crime

One People Commission gathers together Christian leaders to discuss joint response to violent crime

Yesterday the Evangelical Alliance’s One People Commission brought together more than 25 representatives from churches and Christian organisations based around England to explore a holistic and collaborative response to gun and knife crime in the nation.

The Gun and Knife Crime Summit 2019, which was held at the charity’s resource centre near Kings Cross, London, took place amid a deluge of news stories about teenagers being stabbed to death, teenagers being arrested for these murders, and the government desperately seeking solutions. 

The fatal stabbings of 15-year-old Baptista Adjei in east London last Thursday and an 18 year old in south London just hours later have pushed up the total number of homicides in London alone to over 110, with around 70 of these being fatal stabbings. 

In 2018 there were 132 homicides, more than half of which were as a result of stabbings and around 10 per cent were the result of shootings. Reports reveal that of those killed last year, at least a third of cases involved victims aged 16 to 24

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Acutely aware of the devastating effects gun and knife crime is having on families and communities across England, the One People Commission (OPC) invited leaders from organisations and churches that are confronting violent crime, and the circumstances that make people more likely to commit them, to discuss how Christian communities can work more closely together to provide much-needed healing, hope and restoration.

Representatives from Evangelical Alliance members XLP, Transforming Lives for Good, London City Mission, Christian Police Association, Redeeming our Communities, SPAC Nation, and Freedom’s Ark Church, were among those in attendance. Also among the attendees were individuals who had come to know Jesus after surviving the ramifications of violent crime. 

Pooling expertise, experience, thoughts and concerns, they considered how evangelicals can collaborate to support their local communities in the key areas of parenting/​family, education, achievement, community, and enterprise, to break the patterns that lead to the loss of, and taking of, life. 

The group, which welcomed a special adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson towards the end of the session, also identified the government funding that has been made available to help tackle such challenges and considered how they might go about accessing some of the money to aid the work being carried out by the many Christian communities around the country. 

Gavin Calver, the Evangelical Alliance’s CEO, welcomed the meeting amid such terrible stories of loss, and praised the work of the ministries that are bringing hope into these challenging settings, to serve some of the most hurting in our society. 

About the author

Naomi joined the Evangelical Alliance in 2018 as editorial content manager. Positions with publishers and within the marketing and communications faculty of a higher education institution, plus stints as a reporter, have enabled the media and cultural studies graduate, who has an NCTJ diploma in newspaper journalism, to hone the necessary skills and qualities to serve members well.

See more from Naomi Osinnowo

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