Precious lives . . . No more knives

Precious Lives…No More Knives  

Our hometown has taken centre stage in the media for the wrong reason. Far too many lives have been cut short, destroyed leaving a legacy of heartache. The entire community pleads ‘No More Knives’ yet the siege continues. The blades wreak havoc on our bloodstained streets. Understandably, residents don’t feel safe anymore.  

Many have been vocal on this subject. We stood in solidarity with our community. On Sunday, February 11th we hosted an Art competition under the theme ‘Precious Lives… No More Knives. All ages used their creativity to add their ‘voice’ in protest.

Thirteen different interpretations of one theme, all protesting the carnage. Our three judges, Anne Pearce, Celine Gervais and Peter Burton had a difficult task of choosing one winner from each of the three categories. On two occasions the winner was decided by the popular vote (votes from the audience).   

  • 8-12 years Miriam Cabral (community) 
  • 13-17 years Chloe Francis 
  • 18+ years Deborah Nero-Adeoye 

Our participants used their talents to bring light to our cause:

  • Our 12 years young poet, Jabez Hoyte, penned two poems, worthy of prime placement. Shattered Lives initially speaks of the birth, exposes the grim impact of knife crime, then offers the solution… unity against a common enemy; violence and the father of evil.
  • Kristian delivered an original spoken word piece with such conviction.
  • Our resident Poet Laureate, Shaniqua Benjamin presented two poems which spoke volumes and turned the torchlight on the heart of the matter. 

The high point of the afternoon:

Jermaine Wong shared his family’s experience at losing their son in October to knife crime. Amid his pain, the peace of God is his portion. Jermaine spoke of his relationship with God strengthening and how each time he shares, not only are others encouraged, but the release gives him peace. His was a very emotive delivery; some were moved to tears. Jermaine remained confidently vulnerable while filling the space with God’s love; he expects one day to embrace those who robbed him of his son. His faith has not diminished. 

It was encouraging to witness the collaboration of various ministries within our church:

Namely, health, women’s, prayer, production, health and safety and teens. There was a good representation from the leadership, elders and Pastors. There was collaboration with neighbouring churches, West Croydon and Hope Community Beckenham. 

  • Live instrumental music was very ably provided by three teens Merci Burnett, Kristian Swaby and Amelia Charles who were supported by Hopieann Platt and Elder Johnny Saul. 
  • Everyone had the opportunity to contribute to two murals. Our team of ladies created an artistic display of refreshments, most of which were contributed by our very skilled bakers. 
  • Sharon Douglas and Ben Dantzie offered guidance, tips and signposts on the theme of conflict resolution.  

We look forward to taking an upscaled version to the wider community in the near future.