Norfolk rector to shave head for abuse charity
A South Norfolk rector is to shave his head to raise awareness and funds to help churches become ever safer and healthier communities and to support abuse survivors.
Rev Adrian Miller (aged 46), Rector at Mulbarton, south of Norwich, is planning the head shave on April 30 - before the wedding season gets underway in earnest, he says: “As a way to raise awareness and raise funds to help us continue to develop healthier and safer church communities, and to support survivors of abuse perpetrated by clergy and church leaders.
“Shaving the head is a biblical symbol of lament and repentance, and for me also says something about symbolically shaving off the trappings of the toxicity around male privilege, and some of the unhelpful cultural trappings that have been a factor in some recent high profile cases - the likes of Ravi Zacharias, Jean Vanier and several others, from across the spectrum of Christian traditions.
“For me, this has great personal meaning, in terms of my own story and background. This is a symbolic representative lament, a personal statement of intent, and a way to do something to raise funds to help on the frontline. I am delighted to be partnering with Thirtyone:eight in this, who have been wonderfully supportive with the endeavour. The work they are doing is making a difference, and the funds raised here will help more churches become healthier places for all” said Adrian.
“One of the first people I told about my crazy head shaving idea was a friend whose life has been blighted by the poor behaviour of church leaders. I asked how she would feel if some of those people were to shave their heads as a sign that they were sorry for the ways they had exploited their position and privilege to her detriment. She said it would be a powerful image, after years of feeling invisible.
“Since they won't, I will. I want to listen, lament, repent AND see churches become ever healthier and safer communities. The way church culture, power, opportunity, celebrity and privilege operate has seen change for the good in recent years, but there is further to go.”
Thirtyone:eight is an independent Christian charity which helps individuals, organisations, charities, faith and community groups to protect vulnerable people from abuse. They provide training, consultancy, disclosures and a 24-hour helpline, making sure everyone is equipped and empowered with the tools they need.
You can find out more and support Adrian’s fundraising efforts here.