Editorial – A PLACE TO CALL HOME
The deaths last month of 39 people whose bodies were discovered in a container lorry which had travelled to the UK from Belgium is nothing short of horrific.
Migrants. Refugees. Asylum seekers. Whatever ‘category’ they may fall into, they are people.
What agonies did they face in their homeland to cause them to want to flee? What hopes and dreams were they harbouring as they climbed into the lorry for their trip to a new life? What loved ones did they leave behind? What sacrifices did they have to make to finance this fatal journey?
As I write, investigations are ongoing. Speculation may be rife, but all facts have yet to be unearthed.
What must it be like to have no home, no security, no hope? Billy Smyth of Church Mission Society Ireland knows people who could answer that. Billy has recently returned from Yei, South Sudan,
where the local Church is once again sheltering those displaced by civil war.
When he last visited in April, Billy found people returning from refugee camps, planting crops, reopening shops. Yet, in a short space of time, renewed violence has destroyed that fragile hope. “The optimism has died,” Billy says. You can read Billy’s interview on pages 18-19.
I have stood in the grounds of Yei’s Emmanuel Cathedral in happier times, having travelled there on behalf of the Diocese of Connor in 2010 and 2013. On both occasions, families were rebuilding their lives after decades of civil war. They had left the bush and the camps. They were home.
The stories I heard then were harrowing. Catherine Aya fled Yei with nothing in 1984. In the cold of the open bush, she ripped her own dress to cover her children. Catherine spent the entire civil war
hiding in the bush.
“Despite all the suffering, we did not lose faith in a living God. Wherever we fled, we made a church in a shed,” she told me in 2010.
Joyce Kharmisa was pregnant with her sixth child when the soldiers first arrived in Yei. She fled with a baby on her back and one clinging to her neck. “In the bush we survived on wild fruit. We lit fires at night for heat and to keep the mosquitoes from the children,” she said. Two of her children died due to lack of medication.
Fighting broke out again in South Sudan in December 2013. People like Catherine and Joyce may have had to leave their homes again. I do not know the rest of their stories.
For those who died in that container lorry last month, their earthly stories have ended.
We pray for refugees everywhere, that one day they will have a place to call home.
ARCHBISHOP ON NEW NI LEGISLATION
TALKING A LANGUAGE EVERYONE CAN UNDERSTAND
CHORISTERS FOR A DAY!
THE E-BIKE – IT IS A PLEASURE TO CYCLE
CLIMATE JUSTICE CANDLE IN SLIGO
FARMERS & FAITH EVENING
Diocesan Synods –
NEW HORIZONS AND POSSIBILITIES
HOPE ACHIEVED BY SMALL STEPS
FREE TO SHAPE OUR FUTURE, SYNOD TOLD
CAKES, BAKES & FAITH
NEW LIFT BOOSTS OUTREACH
LEAD THIEVES STRIKE IN CONNOR
BLESS OUR PETS!
NEW PARISH AND COMMUNITY CENTRE FOR BALLINCOLLIG
A PERSONAL STORY AT ‘MIND YOURSELF’ EVENT
MENTAL HEALTH AND YOUNG PEOPLE
ST COLUMBA’S FAREWELL TO BISHOP HAROLD
CELEBRATING TWO CENTURIES IN TRALEE
GRANT WILL HELP ENCOURAGE READING
CMSI PUTS ‘CHURCH AT THE CENTRE’
FESTIVAL OF ANGELS WILL INSPIRE AND AMAZE
TALK IS IMPORTANT
THE SAINT AND THE SULTAN
Young People – LET’S OPEN UP ON RELATIONSHIPS
Interview – ALWAYS AIM TO DO THAT WHICH MAKES YOU HAPPY
DOWN AND DROMORE DIOCESE: A YEAR IN REVIEW
PEOPLE – SCOUTS HAVE BEEN MY LIFE, SAYS BILLY
PEOPLE – BLINDNESS IS NO BARRIER TO ROBERT
MISSION – BILLY SADDENED AFTER RETURN TO YEI
HERITAGE – CATHEDRAL HISTORY RECORDED IN BOOK
ENVIRONMENT – LET’S TALK RUBBISH!
MUSIC – ANNUAL ORGAN SCHOLARS’ SERVICE
MUSIC – CHOIRS JOIN FOR MEMORIAL FUNDRAISER
MUSIC – ‘ORGANIST OF INTERNATIONAL STANDING’
MUSIC – CHOIR CALL – DUBLIN CHOIR WITH A LONG HISTORY
HERITAGE – MAP TELLS A STORY
YOUNG PEOPLE – NEW TRAINING IN YOUTH WORK
YOUNG PEOPLE – SHAKEN RESOURCE TO EQUIP CONNOR YOUTH
YOUNG PEOPLE – WEEKEND FUN ON CAPE CLEAR
MOTHERS’ UNION – WORDS OF WISDOM AT WEEKEND EVENT
MU – DERRY AND RAPHOE FESTIVAL SERVICE
MU – THANKS TO VOLUNTEERS
EDUCATION – FINANCIAL HELP WITH BOARDING/SCHOOL FEES
EDUCATION – SERVICE MARKS BEGINNING OF ACADEMIC YEAR
US REFUGEE POLICY CONDEMNED
YOUNG PEOPLE SPEND ‘A YEAR IN GOD’S TIME’
PROTECTING CHILDREN’S RIGHTS IS OUR RESPONSIBLITY
BISHOPS APPEAL FOR ZERO DEFORESTATION
IT TAKES A CHURCH TO RAISE A PARENT:
Author: Rachel Turner Publisher: BRF, 2018
REBOOTED: RECLAIMING YOUTH MINISTRY FOR THE LONG HAUL: A BIBLICAL FRAMEWORK Author: Tim Gough Publisher: Inter- Varsity Press, 2018
THE DAY THE REVOLUTION BEGAN
Author: Tom Wright Publisher: SPCK, 2017
TRIBUTE – THE REV CANON BILLY GIBBONS
APPOINTMENTS & RETIREMENT