On Wednesday 9th February, Bishop Nicholas Hudson blessed a newly-installed knife bin at St Mary and St Michael Church, Commercial Road.
Speaking ahead of the blessing, he said: 'This is the fifth knife bin that Words4Weapons have installed at one of our parishes, with funding from Caritas Westminster. The others are in Tollington Park, Harrow Road, High Barnet and Wood Green. Already the number of knives and other weapons collected is well over five hundred.
'It will soon be Lent. And when we think of Lent, the word of the Lord which speaks most powerfully to us is surely the word we hear on the lips of the prophet Joel, “Come back to me with all your heart.” A knife bin announces the same call, to have a change of heart.
'It also speaks powerfully of peace, echoing the words of the Lord Jesus himself, who said, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called sons and daughters of God.” The knife bin standing here now on Commercial Road announces peace. “Be peacemakers, not peace-breakers,” it cries out to everyone that passes it.
'As we call on God to bless this knife bin, we pray for all who see it and wonder about using it, that they will indeed hear the call to have a change of heart, to have the courage to move from violence to peace, and so make Tower Hamlets a safer place for everyone.'
The knife bin is a safe-disposal amnesty bin for knives and other bladed weapons. It encourages people to hand over knives that may otherwise be used in committing crime.
Present at the blessing and installation were Fr Willie Skehan, Parish Priest of St Mary and St Michael; JP Morrison, Executive Headteacher of Bishop Challoner Catholic Federation of School, located near the Church; John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets; John Coleby and Minet Masho of Caritas Westminster, and dignitaries representing local faith communities and charities.