“The atmosphere was really amazing and about 130 people came”
Revd Deborah Mallett, Christians Together in Nailsea and District
The story of the CAFODs Lampedusa Cross was at the heart of the message when Christians of all denominations gathered at the shopping precinct in Nailsea this Good Friday. Representatives of each church community presented symbols of hospitality in an act of commitment to work in partnership with North Somerset Council to provide a home for a displaced Syrian family.
So many people have commented on the cross and its story and have wanted to see it and hold it. “I have used it in some way in all my Easter services and my ecumenical colleagues are going to use it for the rest of our month!” said Revd Deborah Mallet.
The parishes of St Thomas of Canterbury Fairford and St Mary’s Cricklade in Gloucestershire recently hosted the Lampedusa Cross in masses across two churches.
The Cross on the altar at St Mary’s Cricklade (photo credit Edmund Lee)
At St Thomas of Canterbury Fairford and St Mary’s Cricklade, parish priest Fr Michael Robertson carried the cross in procession to the altar where it was the focus of special readings and prayer at the beginning of Masses at both churches on 21 and 22 January. This comprised the story behind Lampedusa crosses; extracts from Pope Francis’s homily at Lampedusa; and prayers for all those caught up in this and similar refugee experiences, and that we might play our part in helping those affected.
The cross was displayed on the altar at St Mary’s Cricklade. At the beginning of Mass, Fr Michael invited the children to come forward to see the cross and hear its story. All were moved, including children and adults, of the reality that still exists for refugees fleeing from war and persecution, especially those having landed on the Island of Lampedusa.
After Mass, this symbol of a 21st century tragedy remained a focus for discussion under St Mary’s 12th century chancel arch (photo credit Edmund Lee)
Find out more about the work of CAFOD with Refugees and how you can support this.
Parishioners from St Teresa of Lisieux and St Georges and others involved in helping new Refugees in Taunton, gathered recently for a celebration with the new Refugees.
Two new Refugee families from Frome and four from Taunton, along with those involved in helping them to re-settle here, gathered together to celebrate their arrival and their progress since moving here.
One of the new Refugee families with the CAFOD Banner of Hope
Doug Lowe, CAFOD volunteer from St Teresas, explained to attendees of the event about the CAFOD Banner of Hope, the works that CAFOD are doing and where most of the Refugee message of hope cards had gone to. Doug also gave cards in Arabic to Oria Dunn who works for Somerset County Council and is in charge of the refugee program for Somerset, to give to the next five families who will be coming in the next few months to Frome and Bridgewater .
Local Taunton children teach new Refugee children how to line dance!
The Message of Hope banner has now gone into West Monkton CoE school in Taunton where three of the refugee children attend. Doug is giving the school the CAFOD Side by Side magazine and information about the Don’t Lose What You Love to Climate Change campaign as they learn more about the work of CAFOD, along with the ways they can help those Refugees settling into the area locally.