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The last ever slaves to be sold in Greenock?Churches in Greenock mark the Bicentenary

Abolition Wellpark Mid KirkAt the event to mark the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery held in Wellpark Mid Kirk today, several slaves were auctioned off.  Guest auctioneer, Mr. Ian McCrorie, with his usual flair managed to squeeze over £245 from those attending as they bid for the time and talents of several local ministers and church members.  Star item was Douglas Rae, of Greenock Morton, who offered himself for a guided tour of Cappielow plus two tickets to the director's box for the next home game.

The event heard from William Wilberforce, in the person of the Rev. Alan Sorensen, who performed a short extract from the speech Wilberforce gave to Parliament which led to the abolition of slavery exactly 200 years ago, on 25th March 1807. Ian McCrorie

The Rev. Ian Johnson of the Old West Kirk spoke on Greenock's Shameful Past, highlighting the town's connection to the slave trade and the Rev. Francis Murphy of the Mount Kirk created a moving audio visual presentation on the anti-slavery struggle.

Rhoda McIree from Glasgow City Mission highlighted those on the streets in Scotland who are still in slavery, through prostitution or drugs.  She highlighted one new manifestation of slavery in the trafficing of girls from Eastern Europe to be sold into the sex trade.

Margaret Foggie concluded the event with an outline of the importance of Fairtrade, through which we can ensure those in other countries are not exploited as slave labour.

The church had set up an exhibition and fairtrade stall.  Between the auction and the sale of lunches a total of £358 was raised.  Charities to benefit from this will be those involved in the continuing fight against slavery and human trafficing.

NOTE: the photos attached show Alan Sorensen as William Wilberforce and in the group shot he is flanked by Ian Johnson and Francis Murphy.  The event was organised by all three.

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