Alan Tomlinson, Emergency Programme Manager for Syria Crisis response, shared stories of people trying to survive the worst ever humanitarian crisis, Syria’s civil war. About 50 people listened intently and finished the evening by writing messages of hope to all refugees.
According to the U.N., it will take £5 billion to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Syrians in 2016.
The above facts were just two, of the many, Alan shared with us during the evening. He also explained how CAFOD and its partners work in such a complex emergency. During his talk my eyes roamed round the room of 50 plus people and noticed how everyone was completely intent on what he was saying. The facts certainly took hold of us, but it was when parishioners read out the stories of two people caught up in the conflict, that you could have heard a pin drop.
After praying the stages of the pilgrimage around the church, everyone stopped in front of the Lampedusa Cross and wrote a message of hope to all refugees. Amongst the many messages were the following:
‘Know that you are loved. Keep going.’
‘That you will be welcomed and assisted by all those you encounter on your journey and receive care and love’.
All these messages and the messages from parishioners throughout the diocese will be dedicated at a special service in the Cathedral in November (date and time to be confirmed). After this event the messages will all be shared with refugees in the UK or around the world.