Chester Cathedral to Commemorate National Refugee Week

Chester Cathedral will be participating in National Refugee Week, taking place from Monday 19th June to Sunday 25th June. As a City of Sanctuary, Chester aims to draw attention to the challenges faced by refugees and asylum seekers, emphasising the importance of compassion within our communities.

"This year's Refugee Week places a spotlight on the theme of compassion, recognising the plight of individuals who have been forcibly displaced and are seeking support and sanctuary," says Dennis Thomas, Ambassador for Asylum Seekers and Refugees at Chester Cathedral. "These individuals have turned to our community with the hope of finding safety, inclusivity, and solidarity, along with the transformative power of compassion."

The highlight of Chester Cathedral's participation in Refugee Week will be an immersive installation located in the grounds of the Cathedral. Titled "Compassion Matters," the installation will feature artwork and poems contributed by local refugee communities, along with an interactive question-and-answer table focusing on refugees and asylum seekers. Visitors will be encouraged to write messages on cards and ribbons symbolising compassion in various languages, which will be affixed to the installation throughout the week.

Starting on Tuesday, 20th June, and continuing until Sunday, 25th June, the installation will be open to the public daily from mid-morning until mid-afternoon. "We hope you will visit the display during the week to show how we together are building a more welcoming place for those forced to flee their homes," says Thomas.

To start the week, Archdeacon Ian Bishop, who personally hosts a Ukrainian family, will deliver a sermon on refugees and Refugee Week during Chester Cathedral’s Sunday morning Service on 18th June.

As an active member of the City of Sanctuary network, Chester Cathedral has also submitted an application to be recognised as a Cathedral of Sanctuary, with the assessment set to take place in July.

Dennis Thomas comments, "Chester itself is now an active City of Sanctuary for refugees and asylum seekers. This is as part of a national forum for coordination, training, experience and resource sharing and support for these networks of welcome. We ourselves have applied to become a Cathedral of Sanctuary within this network and are due to have our application assessed in July."

"National Refugee Week presents an opportunity for our community to come together, celebrate compassion, and stand in solidarity with those seeking sanctuary. We encourage individuals to visit our installation, as it symbolises our shared commitment to building a more inclusive and supportive society for all," says Thomas.

Volunteers are needed to assist with manning the display throughout the week. If you can spare a few hours to help, please get in touch with Dennis Thomas.

Page last updated: Thursday 1st June 2023 2:39 PM
Privacy Notice | Powered by Church Edit