Friday, December 9th from 6 pm at Liverpool Cathedral and 7pm steps of Clayton Square.
In the run-up to the busy Christmas period, Rev Dr Ellen Loudon Director of Social Justice for the Diocese of Liverpool and Canon Chancellor at Liverpool Cathedral is appealing to the people of Merseyside to join her in remembering all those who are living away from their homes, by coming together in a candlelit vigil on 9th December.
Starting at the steps of Liverpool Cathedral at 6 pm, then congregating at the steps of Clayton Square at 7 pm; people can join in from whichever point they wish along the route.
Rev Dr Ellen Loudon said:
“Liverpool is a city well known for embracing people from all cultures and backgrounds and our vigil will be a testament to that. Remembering that Jesus had to flee his homeland we’re calling on people from all faiths and none to join in - light a candle, share stories of hope and help highlight the plight of those who’ve had to leave their homesin what has been a particularly difficult year. We’d like to try and dispell the negative perception of those people who are displaced, as portrayed by a certain sections of the media. This is breeding social harm and racial intolerance which is harmful for all of us. After all, as an area of diversity, we really do share more than we imagine divides us. So we’re asking the people of Merseyside to stand with us this Chritmas in an act of peaceful and respectful solidarity to demonstrate our shared humanity.”
Ellen has organised this vigil to acknowledge the 65 million people fleeing from conflict and crises. The original impetous came from a member of our Cathedral congregationwho, as a black woman born in Liverpool had found herself verbally abused in her home city following the Brexit vote. She felt that her home city, a place she had once felt safe, was in danger of becoming a cruel and unwelcoming place. She wanted us, her Cathedral community to take a stand against this this harsh, offensive language and behaviour. So, working with Christian Aid and Hope not Hate we responded by organising a vigil as an act of solidarity not just for the displaced people who are seeking refuge in our city but also for those many black and minority ethinic residents for whom Liverpool has always been their home.
Ellen continued “We’ll start at the steps of Liverpool Cathedral at 6 pm, light our candles. At around 6:30 pm we will walk along towards Rodney Street to meet our colleagues from Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral, From there we will proceed along Hardman Street, Bold Street then Church Street and arrive at the steps at Clayton Square, where we will be greeted by the Salvation Army Band playing Christmas carols.”
As Eirlys Jessop from Christian Aid says:
“Liverpool is famous as a diverse and multicultural city. Everyone in Liverpool either originates from somewhere else or knows someone who is from somewhere else.
With so many living in places away from their birthplace we invite you to think about the 65 million people who are fleeing from conflict and crises, their joyful homes a distant memory. They are forced out by the darkness of violence and fear, searching for safety and refuge.”
Paul Bayes, Bishop of Liverpool added:
“I am proud to be Bishop in a city recognised for its diversity, warmth and openness, where so many who live away from their place of birth have found a welcome.
At a time when we are preparing to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the light of the world, it is important we also consider those displaced by conflict through no fault of their own.
This vigil is a great opportunity for the people of Liverpool to come together and stand alongside those who are forced out by the darkness of violence and fear, searching for safety and refuge. We want to say: we are here for you; we will help you; you are welcome.”