Congregation scarred by knife crime marches down Holloway Road
PUBLISHED: 15:11 21 March 2019 | UPDATED: 14:16 09 April 2019
The congregation at Holloway's Seventh Day Adventist Church, whose members have lost loved ones to knife crime twice in three years, marched to Highbury Corner and back on Saturday in protest.
Starting from the church itself – near the Nag’s Head – members of the church walked behind drummers from the youth Pathfinders group as part of Global Youth Action Day.
Marchers held placards emblazoned with slogans including “bin knives now” and “stop knives, save lives”.
The church was inspired to organise the march after Kamali Gabbidon-Lynck, 19 – the great-grandson of a member of the congregation – was killed weeks ago in Wood Green.
It came two years after popular church-goer Vanessa James was stabbed to death in 2017.
Vanessa was brutally murdered in her Enfield home by Hackney man Tre Cameron, currently serving life in prison. Her sister was among those who took part in Saturday’s march.
Church figures including youth leader Danelle Cuffie hoped the march would set the ball rolling as part of a community effort to discourage knife crime.
Danelle said: “As a church we have experienced knife crime. We have lost one of our young people. Two or three weeks ago one of our older members lost her great-grandson.
“As young people we are a part of the church and also a part of the Holloway community. It’s about doing something to try and stop the crime and help to start a change, to reduce the numbers of these incidents.
“We always see the church as a part of the community, and we are invested in the community.”
Danelle said the march saw passers-by join in and cars beep in support. She felt it was “so empowering”.
She added: “It was so wonderful to see so many young people come out. There were children and adults all standing up for this cause.
“We were able to send a clear message that this is not something we are OK with or have any interest in accepting.
“We want to see positive change.”
The march, the brainchild of young church member Trevona Jennings, was the first event the church has held in hope of tackling knife crime, but it is planning a number of follow-up events to build momentum within the community.