50 Rainhill residents led by the St Bartholomew’s CAFOD Group led a Walk of Witness for Good Friday in Rainhill. The Walk was an ecumenical event with parishioners from St Ann’s CE Church and St James’ Methodist Church walking in solidarity. The Group had asked to use the Liverpool Lampedusa Cross for the walk which was also used at other times during Holy Week at St Bartholomew’s.
This cross was made from pieces of a boat wrecked off the coast of the Italian island of Lampedusa. The first Lampedusa cross was made from a boat on which 311 Eritrean and Somali refugees were drowned making their way from Libya to Europe. The community on the island helped save the lives of 155 others.
In Lampedusa’s church, Francesco Tuccio, the island’s carpenter, met some of the survivors who were Eritrean Christians. Moved by their situation, he used his skills to make each of them a cross from the wreckage as both a reflection of their salvation from the sea andalso as a powerful symbol of hope for their future. A similar cross was made for Pope Francis, who carried it at a memorial service for those who had perished.
In 2016, Mr Tuccio made the Liverpool Lampedusa Cross. It bears witness to the dangerous journeys and many uncertainties migrants and refugees face today. It reminds us of the power of our own acts of love, mercy and hope.
The Lampedusa Cross Service is a simple and powerful liturgy which can be used by anyone. At the end, people are invited to respond by writing their own messages of hope to refugees which are sent to CAFOD and distributed to refugees around the world. Here’s a picture of the Archbishop Malcolm blessing the Cross and his own Message of Hope. And the messages do reach refugees, as you can see here through the work of our partner Caritas Hellas on the island of Lesbos in Greece.
The Cross is available to use for parishes and communities in the Archdiocese and there are beautiful resources to accompany it and to engage people in consideration of the plight of migrants and Jesus’ call to love our neighbours. If you are interested in using the Cross for a small or large group of people, please call Ged or Colette on 0151 228 4028 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.