Picnic In the Park – 1st July 2018 by Philip Bee

One of the tragedies of our time is the flood of refugees that has been spawned by violence in Syria. It is almost 3 years since images emerged of a 3 year old boy, Aylan Kurdi, who was washed up on a beach near Bodrum, Turkey, after his family attempted the treacherous crossing to Kos in a five metre rubber dinghy with other migrants. Only his father survived when the boat capsized. Aylan and his brother and mother all died on the early part of a journey that should have seen them eventually join up with Aylan’s aunt, a hairdresser in Vancouver, Canada.

UNICEF estimate that around 50 million children around the world are on the move as migrants, and that 8 million children have been affected by the war in Syria. On some occasions, children are the only survivors in a journey that sees their parents taken from them. See, for instance, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UMjSZaMY2Y.

We are trying to move people to action for child refugees in particular on Sunday 1st July. We are holding a Picnic in the Park at Cannon Hall Farm on Sunday from 11am and finishing at 2pm. All our churches are closed for worship that morning so that we can join in. It includes a sponsored “Wheel or Walk” for UNICEF’s Children on the Move programme. People of all ages, from schools, mother-toddler groups and other institutions will be there with prams, buggies, in wheelchairs or on mobility scooters (or on foot) to make a journey in solidarity with child refugees. We will have some fun together, but we will also learn a little en route about the journeys that refugees take and the hardships that migrant children encounter. You are advised to bring a picnic lunch. The event will close with a short act of worship.

Please encourage everyone in your church, groups that meet at your church, and people on the edge of the church to join with us.

For further information and to download a sponsor form please go to Facebook site @DDCWMETHODIST. Sponsor forms will also be available in all our churches as well as on July 1st at Cannon Hall Farm Marquee.

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