A Day of Lament, in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse will be held on Saturday 9 December, 3.30pm, at McCallum Park in Victoria Park, Perth.
The event has been organised by an ecumenical group of lay Christians, who lament the fact that there has been so much silence on this issue. They also acknowledge the pain of survivors, apologise, pray for healing and commit to
justice for survivors.
Dr Alison Atkinson-Phillips, member of Victoria Park and Districts Star St Uniting Church, is on the organising committee for this event. She said the service is a response from members of the Christian church.
“It started out with a couple of people talking about the Royal Commission [into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse], and really wanting to find a way to respond to it, not as the organised church, but as ordinary church people,” Alison said.
“They’re finding a way to respond to their sense of shock and sadness about the things that have gone on in the church’s name, and in this institution that should ideally be a place of safety and a source of love and care. It has been the opposite of that for so many people.”
There has been no clergy involved in the planning of this event, as this is an expression of the grassroots of the church
“It’s a way of saying ‘this happened on our watch and we’re sorry.’”
The event will begin with a BYO picnic and a time of gathering band connecting. A short liturgy of lament will begin at 4.15pm, which will include musical performance and the opportunity to take part in symbolic actions and prayer
A collection will be held for ‘Broken Rites’, a support group for people who have been sexually abused in church settings.
For more information visit the Day of Lament Facebook page.