Hundreds celebrate Lancaster’s City of Sanctuary status

More than 200 people turned out to an event celebrating Lancaster as a city of sanctuary for refugees.
More than 200 people turned out to an event celebrating Lancaster as a city of sanctuary for refugees.

Hundreds turned out to celebrate Lancaster as a safe place for refugees seeking sanctuary.

More than 200 people showed their support at the Refugee Week event organised by Global Link and the Quakers group.

The event was to celebrate Lancaster as a City of Sanctuary, a place of safety for people seeking sanctuary, helping them integrate into their local communities.

“Everyone described the buzz and joy of the event,” said Gisela Renolds, co-organiser of the event.

“It was delightful to see old and young from all faiths, male and female, all joining in, dancing, playing music, and enjoying each other’s company.

“The theme of the event was ‘Celebrating our Shared Futures;’ celebration is what we did.”

Refugee Week is the UK’s largest festival celebrating the contribution of refugees and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary.

Residents, refugees and asylum-seekers attended the event at the Friends Meeting House on Saturday.

Workshops at the event included Zumba dance, yoga by Sue Garner, healing and massage from the Tara Arts Centre, a drumming session with More Music, information and awareness raising from Catholic international development charity, and an Islamic Arts workshop led by internationally renowned Afghan artist Samira Kitman.

Parachute games were on offer and audiences were also treated to a Capoeira performance, an Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony, and a feast of food.