Parishioners from Christ The King in Thornbury gathered in Porch House, their 15th century hall, to take part in a refugee pilgrimage event, which was led by CAFOD’s Community Participation Coordinator, Liz Baldwin.
Liz presented an overview of CAFOD’s work in support of refugees, both in the Middle East and in reception centres in Europe, together with an update from Syria, where CAFOD partners continue to provide help to families in exceptionally difficult circumstances. She then led us through the ‘pilgrimage’ itself, based on a CAFOD Refugee liturgy, including prayer and reflection from across the
Borderlands, the Bristol-based charity working with refugees and asylum seekers then helped us to focus on what is being done locally. The two speakers, Caroline and Charlotte, gave us a positive picture of the help that they provide.
In return the refugees provide their skills and gifts. Together, this provides and enables a small but extremely valuable centre of support and hope.
Over tea and cake at the end, we discussed plans for Thornbury Churches Together to commit on-going support for Borderlands.
We were encouraged by these talks, and the efforts made locally more widely, by CAFOD and its partners to support refugees.
It was good to feel so encouraged in the face of news that can seem so negative at times.
Thank you to Liz for leading us through such an encouraging afternoon.