Ely Cathedral will host a spectacular light show next month to raise awareness of families escaping war-torn Syria.
In the first show of its kind ever seen in the district, the cathedral will light up with colours and images, as well as featuring poignant artwork by local children, highlighting the plight of refugees.
On the same evening, on Saturday, March 11, nearby St Mary’s Church will feature a Journey to Hope, a concert of choral music and readings aimed at highlighting the work that Ely Refugee Resettlement Campaign is doing to help Syrian refugee families.
The group, which is organising both events, recently helped to resettle its first Syrian family into East Cambridgeshire and hopes the evening will raise funds to help it to continue helping families in crisis.
A spokeswoman said: We are excited to hold the campaign’s first major fundraising events, and hope that people from Ely and the surrounding area will enjoy the spectacle of the illuminations, and the beauty of the music and readings at the concert.
“As a result of our efforts, a Syrian family has recently moved to the area and is being supported by professionals, organised by Cambridge City Council, to settle in and rebuild their lives in East Cambridgeshire.
“We need to raise funds to continue to help this family, and, we hope, other families in their journeys to hope.”
In the first event of its kind, Ely Cathedral will be lit up with colours and images, as well as featuring an art exhibition on the themes of “home” and “refuge”, which local children took part in last year.
The campaign hopes many people will come to support the evening, enjoy a hot drink and make a donation to the charity.
On the same evening, Journey to Hope will take place at neighbouring St Mary’s Church from 7pm.
It will feature local chamber choir the William Singers, performing emotional, contemplative music, interspersed with readings, which will reflect refugees’ journeys from danger to safety.
Instead of tickets, donations to Ely Refugee Resettlement Campaign will be requested, with a minimum suggested donation of £10 (but the group wishes to be as inclusive as possible, so will not turn away supporters).
Ely Refugee Resettlement Campaign is raising funds and collecting pledges of help, to support the resettlement of some refugee families in this area, as part of the Government’s scheme to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK in the next five years (the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme).
The group’s new logo is based on one of the winning designs in its children’s poster competition last year.
For more information about the events and how to support Ely Refugee Resettlement Campaign’s work, or if you are a landlord who is interested in finding out how to rent your property to a Syrian refugee family as part of the Government’s resettlement scheme, please visit the campaign website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.