A special service of reflection will take place at Liverpool Cathedral next week to remember young people who have lost their lives through violence.
The vigil will take place from 6.30pm on Friday 23 September and aims to bring together the family and friends of victims who have been killed as a result of violent crimes, such as gun and knife crime.
There will be a series of live music performances, poetry readings and speeches by those who have been affected by these violent tragedies.
The service is open to the public and those attending will be encouraged to light a candle at the venue and contribute to a book of condolence to share memories of their loved one. The book will be open across the weekend.
This is the second time the event has taken place and is supported by the Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, and the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership. The inspiration for the inaugural event in 2021 was Mandy Jamieson whose son Danny was stabbed to death in Gateacre, July 2018, aged just 16.
Since the tragedy, Mandy has set up Danny’s Place – a charity which facilitates talks to schools, youth organisations and the probation sector about the ripple effect that knife crime can have.
In a bid to lobby the government to introduce an official national remembrance day for victims and the families of youth violence, the cathedral event will be an open invitation to anyone affected by this type of crime, to remember loved ones and celebrate their lives.
Mayor of Liverpool Anderson said:
“Violence and Liverpool has been in the headlines far too much of late following a spate of atrocious crimes – crimes that do not represent us or our city.
“Once again, young people are being taken far too soon under the most horrific of circumstances, but as is so typical of Liverpool, in the face of adversity we all stand shoulder-to-shoulder to send out the message that this will not be tolerated here.
“I’m so pleased we can support this service of reflection, which is an opportunity for those who have experienced this pain to come together in a supportive and empathetic environment. By shining a spotlight on this difficult subject, we can educate others and hopefully prevent further tragedies from happening in our city.”
Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool, said:
“So many young lives have been lost over the past year to violence, including knife and gun crime. Life is precious. Life is a gift to us from God. Life is for living. This vigil will help us stand in solidarity with all who have suffered through the untimely death of loved ones due to violent crime. It will give us the chance to pledge ourselves and this city to work for peace.
“We, as a Cathedral, will continue to pray for peace in our city and throughout the world.”
Mother, Mandy Jamieson said:
“To lose a child to murder or manslaughter, as a result of either knife or gun crime, affects families traumatically. I am so grateful to Mayor Joanne Anderson and the Culture Liverpool team for allowing us to remember our loved ones. This event can really make a difference to bereaved families as it is also a celebration of our loved ones – and they really do deserve to be celebrated. Together, we can share memories and pay tribute to those we have lost far too soon, which is hugely important. and more importantly it shows them that they are not alone.”
Detective Superintendent Siobhan Gainer, Head of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, said:
“The Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership believes that all communities in Merseyside have the right to be free from violence to provide the best life chances for all. Vigils like this one, often in their quiet way, show complete community solidarity and help get our important message across.”