Canon Christopher Tuckwell shows solidarity with refugees in Westminster Cathedral.
Handmade crosses carved by an Italian carpenter from the driftwood of capsized refugee boats are being shared with Catholic communities in Westminster through Catholic charity CAFOD.
Pope Francis carried a ‘Lampedusa cross’ – named after the Italian island, home to carpenter Francesco Tuccio and where thousands of refugees have drowned – at a memorial service for those who had died.
Canon Tuckwell, from Westminster Cathedral held and reflected on the lives affected by the wooden cross: “The simplicity and the roughness of the cross reminds us how many refugees left everything behind and although some lives were saved many were lost. It is very humbling to hold this cross in solidarity with our neighbours.”
Nalini added: “The crosses are a symbol of solidarity. Holding the Lampedusa cross and knowing it came from a boat where so many died trying to reach safety is an incredibly moving experience. Meeting Canon Tuckwell was an honour and I am happy that he wants to support CAFOD and what we are doing.”
“Through this 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.”
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 in Westminster are also 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.