Churches Together in Britain and Ireland’s Director of Justice and Inclusion, Richard Reddie, writes…

One of the few positives to come from the first COVID-19 lockdown was the reduction in incidences of serious youth violence (SYV) in Britain and Ireland. Unfortunately, as we came out of lockdown the numbers began to increase once again. Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) is part of the growing Synergy Network (SN) which encourages churches, community groups and individuals to address SYV via prayer and action.

One key tool in tackling SYV will be the Synergy Network: Churches and Communities Taking a Stand website. Launched on 1 December, this digital resource is the only online portal that maps all church-related responses to serious youth violence in the four nations and is a platform for those wishing to engage in these activities or wanting to find out more.

Most experts agree that only a joined-up, multi-agency approach will tackle SYV, and this website will be a further step for churches in playing their part in this solution.  As well as providing information about funding opportunities from the statutory and voluntary sector, the website also disseminates information on training courses, seminars, discussions and other such events. It is also a space for conversation via discussion forums, blogs, and articles, as well as providing a list of resources for Bible study, prayer and reflection.

Find out more about the Synergy Network at wearesynergy.org.uk