Talk on Syria in Holy Family Church, Sale

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.

Almost five years after it began, the full-blown civil war has killed over 220,000 people, IMG_7679half of whom are believed to be civilians.

According to the U.N., it will take £5 billion to meet the urgent needs of the most vulnerable Syrians in 2016.

Read more about our work in Syria and the Middle East

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.

Take a look at the Lost Family Portraits

IMG_7682After the talk and some well-needed refreshment, we stood together in solidarity with those refugees we had been hearing about and prayed the Refugee Solidarity Pilgrimage.

Pray the Refugee Solidarity pilgrimage

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 the peace process started will finally come to fruition. That all people involved will pilgrimage reflection_displaythink of the greater good and not of their own fears and prejudices.’

‘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.





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