Human trafficking seminar at S. Norbert's, Spalding

Published 26th of November 2019

When: Saturday the 30th of November, arrivals received at 10.30, the seminar taking place from 11.00 to 16.00.

Where: The Immaculate Conception and S. Norbert's Catholic Church community hall, 52 S. Thomas’s Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire, PE11 2XX.


The Catholic Bishops Conference in England & Wales is hosting a seminar aimed at creating an awareness to the increasing problem of human trafficking – a form of modern day slavery – in S. Norbert’s Community Hall, Spalding. Sadly, the Fens is regarded as one of the ‘Hot Spots’ in the UK.

‘The Santa Marta Group’ is an international initiative of the Catholic Bishops throughout the world working in partnership with the police and other agencies to bring an end to human trafficking. The head of the Catholic Church in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, has said: It is a fact that human trafficking exists in every country, and probably in some form in every city and town. It is perhaps hard for us to comprehend that people are being tricked, deceived and traded in our part of the world, but the Catholic Bishops have been aware of the particular problems in The Fens for some time and have decided that now is the time to act.

The Parish Priest of St. Norbert’s, the Rev. Fr. Jim Burke, explained how he was initially contacted by Bishop Patrick Lynch, Chair of The Santa Marta Group UK. Bishop Lynch worked as a priest in Peterborough for a time in the 70s, so he is familiar with the local area and he sees Spalding as a central base between Boston and Peterborough; and, with permission from the Bishop of Nottingham, the Rt. Rev. Patrick McKinney, is hoping to launch a Santa Marta Project, based at S. Norbert’s.

The project is being co-ordinated by Fr. Mark Odion, who is the African Project Co-ordinator, based in London. Fr. Odion explained that the seminar, that will be taking place on Saturday, the 30th of November, aims to raise awareness of the trafficking situation and abuses that go on within the agricultural sectors around the Fens and at nearby Peterborough and Skegness. “We would like to invite all local companies working in the agricultural sector to join us for the seminar – but, we would also like to issue an open invitation to anyone who would like to help us in our mission to help those who have been trafficked and to end this exploitation of vulnerable people’.

The seminar is free to attend, but booking is essential – to book a place, please contact S. Norbert’s Parish Office by calling 01775 722056 or send e-mail to admin@stnorberts.org. For more information about the seminar, please send e-mail to santamartagroup@cbcew.org.uk. For more information about the Santa Marta Project, please visit: www.santamartagroup.com.

Admission is free – but booking is essential. Lunch will be provided.

To book, please send e-mail to fr.jim@stnorberts.org.uk or call 01775 722056.