A Lampedusa Cross, hand-carved from the driftwood of capsized refugee boats, is being displayed in the Cathedral of S S Peter and Paul in an act of solidarity with the plight of refugees.
The cross was presented to Bishop Declan during a celebration of Bristol’s young leaders last week at M-Shed. Bishop Declan praised them for their acts of solidarity with refugees and shared his experience of working with refugees.
Pope Francis carried a ‘Lampedusa cross’ – so named for the Italian island that is home to carpenter Francesco Tuccio and where thousands of refugees have drowned – at a memorial service for those who had died.
CAFOD representative in the Clifton Diocese, Elizabeth Baldwin said:
“ Our Catholic faith calls us to act. Yet, when faced with massive global issues, you often ask,what can I do? Speaking to such inspiration young people about the Lampedusa Cross was very moving; the messages they shared showed how they cared for refugees around the world.
“The Lampedusa Cross will now be displayed in the Cathedral and people are invited to leave their messages of hope which will be shared with refugees across the world, through our partner organisations, in November.”
Parishioners from Bristol and the surrounding areas have organised pilgrimages with the cross to show solidarity with the refugees arriving in the UK and the three Catholic charities have together produced a pilgrimage reflection.
The pilgrimage includes seven stages which allows pilgrims to consider the plight of refugees and reflect on Scripture and the recent teachings of Pope Francis.