A way to remember those who’ve lost their lives through violence
On Saturday 25 September 2021, we’re holding an Evening of Reflection, bringing together the family and friends of those who have been affected by violent crime
An Evening of Reflection is being held on Saturday 25 September 2021 at Liverpool Cathedral. The evening is a way for family and friends to remember loved ones who’ve lost their lives through violence while raising awareness of the impact this loss has on their families, friends and even the wider community.
The inspiration behind the event is Mandy Jamieson, whose son Danny was stabbed to death in Gateacre, in July 2018, aged just 16.
Following the tragedy, Mandy set up Danny’s Place: a charity that facilitates talks to schools, youth organisations and the probation sector about the ripple effect knife crime can have. She explained:
“There can be a real stigma when a young person loses their life as a result of a violent act, and I’ve known some parents feel they can’t remember their loved ones in the way they would wish to.
“As someone who has experienced this sort of tragedy first-hand, I want there to be a national day where families and friends can come together, share their memories and pay tribute to the people they have lost.
“The service at Liverpool Cathedral is a great first step to highlighting the impact violent crime can have on those who are left behind. I initially approached Mayor Joanne with the idea and I am hugely grateful that she, along with the Culture Liverpool team, are supporting this initiative and understanding what a real difference it could make to people’s lives.”
This free event is open to anyone affected by this type of crime; to remember their loved ones and celebrate their lives.
From 6:30 pm, there’s a series of live music performances by local talent such as Quinten Green and the Liverpool Lighthouse Project Urban Choir. Poetry and speeches will also form part of the programme.
For those who prefer a quieter reflection, there’s a chance to light candles and share memories of a loved one in a book of condolences.
Dr Sue Jones, Dean of Liverpool, said:
“This Evening of Reflection is a way for us to show solidarity with those who’ve been affected by or lost loved ones to violent crime.
“By hosting the Knife Angel at Liverpool Cathedral in 2018, we hoped to help people make sense of the issues it raised by reflecting on the artwork when they came into our building. As well as standing alongside all those affected by violent crime in this vigil, we want to urge those who commit such crimes to recognise the pain they cause themselves and others as we work to a day when we truly see peace in our streets.
“We will continue to pray for peace in our city and beyond.”
The event is a bid to lobby the government to introduce an official national remembrance day for victims and families of youth violence. On the evening of Saturday 25 September, city landmarks are being asked to light up purple to support the campaign.
A similar event will also take place in Chelmsford, Essex where the Knife Angel sculpture, which was installed outside Liverpool Cathedral in 2018, is currently residing. The Knife Angel originally came to Liverpool Cathedral after nurse clinician, Rob Jackson was inspired by the attempt to site the Knife Angel in Trafalgar Square.
For those people who aren’t able to attend in person, they can still show their solidarity by shining a light – either from their phone, using a torch or even lighting a candle at 8 pm. The book of condolences will be open across the weekend until the Cathedral closes on Sunday evening.
Liverpool City Council’s Culture Liverpool team have organised the evening of reflection in partnership with Liverpool Cathedral and Danny’s Place.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said:
“It is devastating when anyone needlessly loses their lives through violence – especially when it’s a young person who should have had their whole life ahead of them.
“I have watched Mandy tell her story to young people, who listened to her intently. How she uses her grief and unimaginable experience to help others is inspirational. Her dedication to getting out in to the community and being brutally honest about the impact that violence can have on those left behind is very hard-hitting.
“I am proud that as an organisation, and as a city, we can help make this event a reality and shine a spotlight on this difficult subject, in the hope that if we share our stories and educate those around us, we can prevent further tragedies from happening.”
Free, light refreshments are available during the evening and are being donated by Morrisons, Belle Vale. The event is also supported by Merseyside Police and the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership which sees youth organisations, the DWP, the Home Office, probation, the five Merseyside local authorities, the fire service and other partner agencies using youth-informed programmes to tackle serious violence.
Prevention Policing Superintendent Sarah Kenwright said: “We understand how devastating incidents of violent crime can be for families, particularly when young people are involved, and we do a huge amount of community engagement which aims to understand the issues our communities face and what Merseyside Police and its partners can do to combat them.
“Merseyside already has a number of successful operations which aim to tackle violent crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Together with our partners, we have also invested significantly into various resources, educational initiatives and intervention campaigns to provide people with positive opportunities and diversionary activities.
“We are also in the process of setting up youth advisory groups so that we can listen to the views of young people and learn how best to work alongside our communities to keep everyone safe.”
Detective Superintendent Siobhan Gainer, the Head of the Merseyside Violence Reduction Partnership, added: “Serious violence impacts not just the lives of victims, but that of their families, friends and indeed, the entire community around them, fostering fear. Our focus is on using positive interventions to divert young people away from serious violence – one of which is art – and the knife sculpture is so emotive.
“We also educate on the consequences and damage adverse childhood experiences can have, taking a whole family approach to reducing serious violence. This ceremony uses those same techniques, is youth-led and will undoubtedly make us all remember Daniel and others who have lost their lives.”
- Saturday 25 September 2021
- From 18:30 until 20:30
- Free entry
- No booking required