Liverpool: City of Sanctuary

DSC04387Today, Saturday there was a special City of Sanctuary event in Liverpool. I was there all day, live blogging to encourage people to come down. And loads did, For a special and welcoming reason.

“City of Sanctuary is a movement committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. Our network of local groups includes boroughs, towns and cities across the UK and Ireland, all committed to building this culture of welcome across every sphere of society.

Wherever refugees go, we want them to feel safe and find people who will welcome them.”

This is what today was about and how it all went:CoS poster10:15 So we’re getting set up at the moment and I’ll be live blogging photos from throughout the day. To further encourage you to come down, rain or no rain, and introduce you to all the friends who’ll be here.DSC04385

11:15 Getting going here now, stalls and discussions setting up.

Everyone's welcome.

Everyone’s welcome.

Here at City of Sanctuary.

Here at City of Sanctuary.

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I’ve met a couple of old friends here Rachel and Bob Braddock. Rachel’s now an author of children’s stories and is here in the story room.

Ready to tell you her stories.

Ready to tell you her stories.

You cam also buy Rachel's books.

You can also buy Rachel’s books here or from Boldbeasts.com.

People are also having acupuncture.

People are also having acupuncture.

Walking round with ears full of little needles.

Walking round with ears full of little needles.

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Back soon with more.

12:00 More photos as the event gets busy.

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Being an asylum seeker in the Britain we’re currently living in can be a complicated and even homeless experience.

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Where you’ll need all the help and advice you can get.

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“People shouldn’t be bought and sold. Stop The Traffik.”

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1:00 Well underway here now.

Stories are being told.

Stories are being told.

Mchu talks about growing up in a Congo made up of so many cultures and languages.

“It’s such a loud country! Everyone full of love for the place and each other. A great place to grow up!”

Petronelle and Matthew tell me about their work with refugees.

Petronelle and Machu tell me about their work with refugees of many languages.

 

And about how they need a new roof, because of asbestos on where they work.

And about how they need a new roof, because of asbestos on where they work in Oakfield Road in Everton/Anfield.

That’s the Liverpool Lighthouse, and it needs £300,000 spending on it. Read more about it on their website, including how you can help and/or donate.

1:45 Visits from loads of people including the Lord Mayor, Junior Mayor, Councillor Frank Hont and lots more people.DSC04423 DSC04428 DSC04427 DSC04425

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Lisa Hoyle of Liverpool Quakers welcomes Councillor Frank Hont.

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Councillor Roz Gladden, Lord Mayor of Liverpool arriving.

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Roz and husband Councillor Roy Gladden sign up as supporters of Liverpool City of Sanctuary.

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So does Young Mayor of Liverpool, Sean Davies.

Jennifer Graham of Coming Home with Sean.

Jennifer Graham of Coming Home with Sean.

We both talk with Sean about his new role, our own coming work with people needing homes to go to. And of course we talk current affairs, Brexit and all that. Assuring us his role is essentially apolitical Sean talks sound sense and I look forward to hearing a good deal from him soon and in the future.

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All afternoon there are constant new arrivals.

All afternoon there are constant new arrivals.

3:00 And when I’ve loaded up most of these pictures the camera goes away for a while so I can talk more. And we don’t just talk war, slavery, fleeing violence and oppression. Though we do. We also talk life and the pursuit of happiness. The joy of spending time together in this peaceful place. There is generosity, food, stories and friendship. Yes of course there is friendship. In Liverpool, City of Sanctuary.

Then as we’re finishing?

Time to remove those acupuncture needles?

Time to remove those acupuncture needles?

Actually, of course, it's done very gently and has been one of the most popular things of the day.

Actually, of course, it’s done very gently and has been one of the most popular things of the day.

4:00 When the camera’s well gone to sleep and we’re mostly packed away I have the pleasure of my first ever conversation with a Rathbone, Andrew. Descendant of my own guiding light Eleanor Rathbone. A pleasure to meet you Andrew and talk family memories, Liverpool and Leeds life and our joint and perennial question ‘What would Eleanor Rathbone do about all this?’

A great day then, here at the Quaker Meeting House, finding out ‘What love will do.’quaker01

Let us then try what love will do?

During the day several blog readers come and say hello. One of them even takes a picture of me working on this post and posts it on his own blog about the day! Thank you Radical Rambler (@Roy_Noon on Twitter).dscf7679

See you all again soon.
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More on Liverpool and all the Cities of Sanctuary hereSanctuary

11 thoughts on “Liverpool: City of Sanctuary

  1. huddspeace

    Great blog and photos. What a fantastic event/venue. I think you’re planning to meet with my friend Roy – please say hi if so 🙂

    Reply
      1. huddspeace

        Fab! Hope you get to meet a local Quaker, Ed Bruce, who’s part of the organising group. Just spoken to him so he’ll look out for you – Ed’s wearing a green jumper.

  2. spiritoso

    A lovely day, thanks for sharing our stories. Hope it helps make a difference. One slight correction, the Congolese man’s name is Machu, not Matthew.

    Reply

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