A Lampedusa Cross, hand-carved by an Italian carpenter from the driftwood of capsized refugee boats, is being displayed in St. Mary’s Cathedral in Middlesbrough, in an act of solidarity with the plight of refugees.

The cross will be presented to Canon Gerard Robinson on the 1st of September after the 6.30pm mass on behalf of CAFOD. Representatives from refugee and Christian organisations including Caritas will be in attendance to show solidarity with refugees. The Lampedusa cross will be displayed in the cathedral for three weeks, where visitors can pray and leave messages of hope.

A selection of Lampedusa crosses are being used by communities in England and Wales as they respond to the refugee crisis. Parishes across Middlesbrough will organise pilgrimages with the cross, to show solidarity with refugees arriving in the UK, as well as praying for those far from our shores.

CAFOD’s representative for Middlesbrough, Carol Cross, said:

“The mass in Middlesbrough will give the people an opportunity to pray for those who are affected by the refugee crisis and to remember those who have lost their lives as a consequence. We hope that by walking this pilgrimage in the cathedral, we can walk in solidarity alongside people who are suffering.

The carpenter from Lampedusa who made the cross, Francesco Tuccio has, by creating this simple, handmade cross, given us a symbol of hope, solidarity and love. We also feel we are answering the call of Pope Francis to show our love for those who are suffering.”

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