Refugee Day Out, 2020
Refugees at Stonyhurst College on 23rd June 2018
When the body of 3 year old Alan Kurdi was washed up on a Mediterranean beach on 2 September 2015, it sent shock waves around the World. Alan might have been from a distant country but in most other respects his world was just like ours until it was torn apart by ISIL. It’s easy to feel that Alan’s death wasn’t our fault or our responsibility and the extreme expression of minority British had been expressed by Kate Hopkins’ in the Sun earlier that year: “Show me pictures of coffins, show me bodies floating in water, play violins and show me skinny people looking sad. I still don’t care…Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches.” As Christians we don’t need Catholic Social Teaching to recognise the abhorrence of this view. Jesus said to “love one another as I have loved you” and Pope Francis has reminded us that when no-one is to blame then everybody is to blame. We must acknowledge personal complicity. Through Christian eyes, these people have as much right to live here as those lucky enough to be born here.
Tom and Kathryn Clay’s response to Alan Kurdi’s death was immediate in bringing together the Christian and Faith communities in the first of three refugee days out from 2016 to 2018. One can’t imagine how much pleasure these outing brought to refugees from Manchester and Burnley until one realises just how little these people have to survive on, let alone to spend on small luxuries.
For 2019 Tom and Kathryn needed a break and it seemed reasonable that someone else would take the lead but that lead never materialised. We got as far as an inter-faith meeting, a resolve to work in a partnership of Faith communities and a June 13 date for a Refugee Day Out for 2020.
We now propose to progress our thoughts and plans and will meet in the presbytery at 7.30 pm on January 8th. We need all the volunteers we can get so please come and join us and help make a 2020 Refugee Day Out a reality.