I am thrilled to hear that plans are progressing well to bring the amazing Knife Angel to Hereford Cathedral this summer. The 3.5-ton sculpture is expected to arrive in Hereford on Monday 14th June, and depart on 12th July 2021.
Throughout its time in the city, everyone will be able to visit the Knife Angel -- socially distanced, or as required by COVID-19 restrictions -- free of charge. The Opening Ceremony will take place on Tuesday 15th June, with a Closing Vigil organised for Sunday 11th July. If necessary, contingency plans will be put in place to hold these and other events remotely.
Constructed out of 100,000 confiscated knives, the Knife Angel stands 27ft tall. It was created by Alfie Bradley at the British Ironwork Centre in Oswestry. The team responsible for bringing the Knife Angel to Hereford is headed by Alison Davies, who lost her son, Mark, to knife crime in 2018, and Meryl Cain.
The Hereford Knife Angel team are hoping that the presence of the Knife Angel will encourage more visitors from around the UK to come to Hereford to see this amazing work of art. But they also want to shine a spotlight on the dreadful impact of knives and knife culture more widely.
Together with a small group of friends, they want to offer a wide range of events alongside the sculpture in order to encourage greater public debate about the impact of violence and knife crime in particular, including a series of free public workshops and interactive events at Hereford Cathedral and other local venues.
There are also plans for a dedicated youth conference to discuss the many issues, from gang culture to violence against young women, to the impact of social media, that shape the lives of many young people today. And there is hope for a weapons amnesty, approved by West Mercia Police, with a secure weapon surrender bin accompanying the Knife Angel.
But here's where you come in, gentle readers. This is a fantastic initiative, which is already opening up conversations and stimulating public debate about issues of violence. But to take full advantage of this opportunity, the team need your support. That means sponsors and volunteers able and willing to help with time, money and ideas, or in whatever way they can.
Article first published in Hereford Times