CHICHESTER will join towns and cities across the UK in holding a candle-lit vigil in support of Syria’s stricken refugees.
The event will take place on Chichester’s Cathedral Green on Saturday, September 12, starting at 2.30pm - when thousands of others around the country will also light candles and call on the British government to do more to help.
The current crisis of Syrian refugees fleeing their war-torn country for Europe was brought home by shocking pictures of a child’s lifeless body washed up on a beach on a Greek island popular with tourists.
Many are calling on David Cameron to do more and when mother-of-two Alexis Stearns decided to hold a vigil in Glasgow it went viral on social media, attracting thousands to either attend or set up similar events where they live.
One of those is Sarah Nunn, from near Chichester, who is organising the event on the cathedral green.
The mother-of-four said: “I saw on Facebook that Ben, our son, was going to the event in Glasgow and thought what a wonderful idea.
“I messaged Alexis and said could I do something similar in Chi. She was thrilled and offered to set the page up, which was brilliant as I’d still be doing it!
“This all happened yesterday and now there are events popping up all over the country.
“I believe ordinary people empathise deeply with the refugees and imagine ourselves in their situation.
“There has to be more we could be doing. We have to tell our government. We want to help.”
When Alexis announced her plans to hold a vigil in Glasgow in support of Syria, almost 2,500 people committed to attending within 48 hours.
Choir leader Alexis said: “Social media is doing what it does best: spreading a grass-roots demonstration like wildfire across the UK.
“As a wealthy country, many of our citizens want to register their disgust at how little our government is doing to tackle a very serious situation.
“We hope that other towns and cities will now be inspired to launch events so that we can send a message from every corner of the country.”
The candle-lit vigils will last into the night and aim to send a peaceful message of support to all of the refugees who have died, fled their homes and lost family members as a result of the Syrian war.
They will take place before home secretary Theresa May is due to fly to Brussels to discuss the refugee crisis with her 27 EU counterparts on Monday, September 14.
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