Hallam and Nottingham Bishops come together with Pilgrims to honour refugees
On 10 July, Catholics from the Dioceses of Hallam and Nottingham completed the annual Padley Pilgrimage, carrying their diocesan Lampedusa Cross – crosses made from the wreckage of refugee boats, to show solidarity to refugees across the world.
Both Bishop Ralph Heskett and Bishop Patrick McKinney were in attendance to hear CAFOD Nottingham’s Maggie Mairura explain about the significance of the crosses and why they were leading the procession, (pictured left). The pilgrims then walked in prayer to the Mass that followed at Padley Chapel, (pictured below), where the crosses were placed at the sanctuary.
Each Catholic cathedral in England and Wales has been presented with a cross and invited to display it. The crosses will now act as a symbol of hope for communities in England and Wales as they respond to the refugee crisis.
CAFOD representative for the Hallam diocese, Anne Prior, who was in attendance, said, “Through local acts such as the pilgrimage we feel we are acknowledging our deep sense of solidarity and welcome with 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.”
As part of a campaign led by the Catholic charities CAFOD, CSAN and the Jesuit Refugee Service, Catholics of all ages in schools, churches and communities are sharing messages of welcome, hope and love, which will be shared with refugees in the UK as an act of solidarity and dedicated at a special event to take place in November.
CAFOD is working with local partner organisations in Europe and beyond to provide practical help to those fleeing their homes, calling on the UK government to take a fair and proportionate share of refugees – from both within and outside the European Union – and pushing for the establishment of safe and legal routes to enable refugees to reach safety.
If you would like to hold your own Lampedusa Cross pilgrimage, please visit: cafod.org.uk/yearofmercy.
Pictured above, the congregation gathered at Padley Chapel for the annual Diocesan Pilgrimage Mass and right, Bishop Ralph (centre) with Bishop Patrick McKinney (right), Bishop of Nottingham and this year’s guest speaker. (Photographs courtesy of Christine Dennis)