Norwich people stand in solidarity at Syria vigil
Over 70 people from across Norfolk attended a Prayer Vigil at Norwich Cathedral yesterday evening (Sunday 13th September 6.30pm) to stand in solidarity and pray for an end to the Syrian conflict and for refugees in Europe. They also generously gave £630 to make a difference.
The event was organised by Norwich Cathedral, Christian Aid and Transforming Norwich and hosted by the Dean of Norwich Cathedral, the Very Revd. Dr Jane Hedges. Stories of refugees from Syria were read and people were invited to reflect and pray. At the end of the service people lit candles to show their prayer that the light of love, reconciliation and hope would shine across Syria and the surrounding area and Europe. There was also a retiring collection.
The vigil followed the launch of Christian Aid’s Refugee Crisis Appeal to support the work of agencies in Europe working to alleviate suffering in the present refugee crisis, and organisations in the Middle East providing emergency relief to those forced from their homes by the conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
The Very Revd. Dr Jane Hedges said,’ As we watch the coverage of thousands of people on the move as they leave their homes to escape the terrible suffering in Syria and other troubles areas of our world, many of us feel the need to do something to help and yet we also feel helpless in the face of such complex problems. We were pleased therefore that a prayer vigil for the refugees was held last night in the Cathedral as this gave the opportunity for people to come together to offer all this to God, to hold these our brothers and sisters in our thoughts and to pray for an end to war and violence which leads to so much suffering.’
Julian Bryant, Norfolk Christian Aid Coordinator said, “It was good to see so many people at the vigil. People said they had been moved deeply by the images they have seen in the news and that this gave them an opportunity to respond and express how they felt. We have seen a good response to this dire situation by different people across Norfolk. I would encourage people to also support the Refugee Crisis Appeal financially and help us respond to the immediate needs of refugees on the move in Europe and also in the overcrowded, dangerous camps of Lebanon, Syria and Iraq.
“Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed in Syria’s conflict and 50% of the Syrian population are now displaced, with more than 4.1 million people forced to seek safety outside the country. Financial donations could help provide more much-needed basic essentials, including nourishing food, warm blankets and healthcare. These are so important as winter comes.”
Danny Doran-Smith, ENYP Director and Chair of Transforming Norwich said, "It was
great to come together in unity with God's people to pray for the refugees
of Syria. We are committed to doing all we can to support those in need
at this time".
People can donate at https://donate.christianaid.org.uk/refugees
Christian Aid has funded organisations working in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon with refugees and the displaced for several years providing communities with food, bedding, hygiene kits and health services. In Lebanon and Iraq our partners are also working to provide psycho-social support to children and women in need. In Europe, Christian Aid’s partners in the Act Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, are providing emergency relief in Greece, Serbia and Hungary.
Photos by Barbara Bryant