Walking Burngreave in the footsteps of refugees

Multifaith walkers

Story by Andrew Crowley | Photos by Graham Jones

As my neighbour always says whenever we go walking with him “It is downhill all the way.” Well it nearly was as we walked from the Catholic community of St Patrick’s at Sheffield Lane Top to the Town Hall on 12th May.

We were doing it as part of a campaign organised by CAFOD, ‘Share the Journey’, to highlight the plight of the growing numbers who leave their homes because of war, poverty or persecution. Most seek shelter in neighbouring countries, which often do not have the resources that we have. There are 250 million people displaced from their homes, 65 million due to violence. Around half of the world’s refugees are children.

It was suggested at our parish meeting that instead of us making the walk as a discrete group we should tell others and invite them join us. It would be a welcome opportunity to meet people of different faith tradition and to explore friendship and what we have in common. An invite was sent to the different places of worship along the route.

We were joined by people from St Cuthbert’s, St James, Christ Church, and the Hindu Samaj. Our pilgrims were offered tea and cake at Christ Church Vicarage, and at the Dar ul Uloom Siddiqia mosque we were provided with much needed drinks and snacks.

We were welcome at the Town Hall by the Lord Mayor and local MP Louise Hague. Mike Reynolds, Chair of City Sanctuary, reminded us that Sheffield is a welcoming city for refugees (something which Burngreave can feel proud of), and then Cameroonian refugee Pride spoke about his experience of living in isolation in Sheffield as an asylum seeker until he came across City of Sanctuary which gave him a new life.

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