congregation of the sisters of st joseph of peace
facebook twitter instagram twitter

Associate Day in Rearsby - 24th March 2018


The day began with morning prayer led by Kathleen McBride and Mary Fortey.

Maria Lee and Mary Essex were introduced as the new Associate Co-directors.

Apologies were received from Monica and Noel Perdue, the Hanwell community, Mary Bird, Mary McMorrow, Carole Campbell, Margaret Redmond and Maureen Jones (Nottingham)

Mary Thelwell thanked Kathleen McBride and Mary Fortey for all they had done as Associate co-directors.

Maria Lee introduced Lara Bundock, a committed Christian and founder and CEO of the Snowdrop Project based in Sheffield, which works to empower survivors of human trafficking.

Lara gave a passionate insight into the work of the project. Worldwide there are 32million people caught up in human trafficking and modern slavery; 11,000-13,000 of these are in the UK.

There are 5 types of trafficking:

  • Sexual exploitation, many women and of all ages
  • Slave labour, particularly in hand carwashes and nail bars.
  • Domestic servitude, mainly women in large cities and often in high income families.
  • Criminal exploitation – growing cannabis, forced begging and forced marriages.
  • Organ harvesting, which is not prevalent in the UK.

The Government provides support in safe houses for six weeks for those rescued from slavery. This is insufficient time and Snowdrop works to support people in the long-term. Starting as a volunteer project, it now employs counsellors and social workers, alongside the volunteers to provide trauma counselling, community activities, house renovation, education and employment pathways and is in partnership with the Co-op. It offers holistic support, help with legal issues, physical and mental health needs, social isolation, personal safety, promotes independent living and hope for the future. Its activities, especially the home renovations, are funded by donations.

Mary Essex thanked Lara for her passionate and engaging presentation and invited questions.

After coffee a short business meeting was held. It was agreed that a possible visit to the Holocaust Centre at Laxton should be pursued.

After lunch Maria Lee and Mary Essex led the Celebration for Covenants of Associates Service when Mary Fortey and Maureen Jones (Birstall) made their lasting covenants.


Article by Mary Essex, CSJP-A Co-Director
Photos by Maureen Brennan, CSJP

Associate Day in Rearsby  - 24th March 2018

Mary Fortey and Maureen Jones
after pronouncing their Lasting Covenant

"The Spirit sounds herself in so many voices: sometimes Her whisper is persuasive and easy to follow; sometimes Her cry is fiery and threatening. But She must be listened to."

Dorothy Vidulich, CSJP