Maggie Mairura, Community Participation Coordinator, CAFOD Nottingham
A Lampedusa Cross, hand-carved from the driftwood of capsized refugee boats, is being displayed in the parish of Our Lady of Victories in Southwell in an act of solidarity with the plight of refugees.
The cross was presented to Fr Andrew Harding at Mass on Saturday 19 September. This was then followed by a procession and an official installation of the cross in the parish church, Our Lady of Victories. Members of the local ‘Churches Together’ group were in attendance and over £100 was raised for the Nottingham Refugee Forum.
During this Year of Mercy, parishioners and school children from across Nottingham Diocese have organised pilgrimages, with the cross, to show solidarity with the refugees arriving in the UK, as well as praying for those far from our shores
CAFOD representative in Southwell, Leslie McKenzie, said: “It was a lovely service at which local people prayed for those who are affected by the refugee crisis and remembered those who have lost their lives as a consequence. Lots of people came to spend a few moments at the cross, many people said what a powerful symbol it was and how it honoured those lost.
“Through the pilgrimage, we feel we are offering a welcome to the refugees arriving in the UK, as well praying for those far from our shores. We also feel we are answering the call of Pope Francis to show our love for those who are suffering.”