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Talks plan on street violence

16 August 2007

by Bill Bowder

THE BISHOP of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, is gathering church and community leaders this week to get their views on street violence in his diocese. The meeting with people from the Hulme, Moss Side, and Whalley areas of Greater Manchester was due to take place this week.

Bishop McCulloch’s spokesman said on Wednesday that the Bishop wanted to listen to people’s experiences.

The meeting coincided with a call by the Chief Constable of Cheshire, Peter Fahy, to outlaw the sale of alcohol to under-21-year-olds, after the death of Garry Newlove outside his home in Warrington last Friday. Mr Newlove was allegedly murdered by members of a teenage gang whom he caught vandalising a mechanical digger.

Other dioceses are also working in this field. Birmingham has launched its “Damascus Road Principles”, to transform “disaffected, hard-to-reach” people. Southwark, shocked by a spate of teenage murders, is working with the Black-led churches through the Bishop’s chaplain, Captain Terry Drummond.

On Wednesday, Bishop Joe Aldred, who chairs the Council of Black-led Churches, said: “As the old African proverb goes, it takes a whole village to raise a child. And no matter how unruly that child, parental love and discipline must never give up on the job of parenting. If we do, we hand over our future to the powers of hell.”

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