Posts Tagged ‘Salisbury Cathedral’


We are fortunate in Salisbury to have the support of the Cathedral which has a prisoner  of conscience window and the Amnesty candle.  They also allow us to put prisoner of conscience details for people to pick up and act on if they wish.  This is changed once a month by group member Tony.

Cathedral site

Candle

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: Salisbury Amnesty

 


On Monday 22 November we had the annual evensong for Amnesty International.  We are delighted to Preparing for the service work with Salisbury Cathedral on this event, which has been running for a number of years now, especially as it ends in the Trinity Chapel where the Amnesty candle is situated and under the Prisoner of Conscience window.

All the celebrants are given a candle and carry these through at the end of the service to the chapel.  Canon Robert Titley spoke during the service and he said:

This evening we hear one of the uglier Christmas stories.  When the wise men visit local ruler Derod, they say the are looking for ‘the King of the Jews’, and he realises that they don’t mean him.  Herod judges – rightly – that Jesus, the child they seek, is a threat to his kingdom and to his way of doing power.  And so, says Mathew the gospel writer, Herod begins some targeted slaughter to neutralise this potential source of rebellion, and Jesus and his family must escape as refugees.

Herod’s way of doing power is of course still alive and kicking.  Mathew would find present day Syria – where innocents are killed as a means of neutralising so-called ‘rebels’ – very familiar.  He does not describe the experience of being a refugee, though it is unlikely that things were so different then:

  • the indifference of some of the native population in the land you come to
  • their understandable caution
  • their fear of the threat you might pose, especially if there are a lot of you – a ‘swarm’ perhaps
  • a tendency to talk about you as part of a lump, a collectivity, an issue, a problem, not a person with a story.

He then went on to talk about Amnesty today;

Throughout its 55 years, Amnesty – to the vexation of the Herods of this world – has tirelessly brought into the light the stories of people whose rights are abused, people like a teacher in Indonesia who we are supporting with our prayers during this month.

Groups like Amnesty International patiently and persistently bring to the minds of rulers and their representatives the stories of people they would rather forget.  And now, as our continent faces the severest displacement of people since Second World War, refuges are at the top of Amnesty’s concerns.

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Arthur Aron. Pic: Time.com

On Amnesty’s website you will find a short film called A Powerful Experiment.  According to the psychologist Arthur Aron, four minutes of eye contact is enough to bring people close together, even to fall in love.  And so, in a bare factory space, a group of native Europeans – women, men, and one girl – each sit with a refugee for four minutes.

In that space and time the ‘issue’ acquires a human face: Samira from Syria and Danuta from Poland and Fatima from Somalia: they open their eyes and at first just look at each other.  Soon the are smiles – warm or perhaps shy – some tears, then words ‘nice moustache.  I’m sixty-five.  Are you new in Berlin?  Eight months.  And are you alone here or with your family?  Alone.  And finally, touch – a handshake, a hug, a game of It, and that word ‘refugee’ is made flesh.

In just four weeks’ time, we shall proclaim again the good news of the word of God made flesh and the birth of Jesus.  The Christmas stories will remind us how glorious is the full ness of God: how infinitely treasured is each human life, made in the image of God.

And tonight we give thanks to God for Amnesty, for the patient, persistent work of its staff and volunteers in reminding the powerful of this treasure and how blasphemous it is to deny it; and reminding us all that the refugee glimpsed on a screen or news page is bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh, that each one, like each of us, has their story to tell.

Around 80 people attended which is fewer than usual but the bad weather would have deterred many.  Our thanks to Cathedral staff for their help with this event.

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In the Trinity Chapel. Photo: Salisbury group

 


This is the fourth batch of pictures of the tapestry which is in the entrance lobby to the Chapter House in Salisbury Cathedral.

Art 16Article 16: Men and women have the right to marry and found a family.  No on should be forced to marry.  This panel by Carol Corke on behalf of the Isle of Wight group.

 

 

 

 

Art 17Article 17: Everyone has the right to own property.  This panel is also by the Isle of Wight group, this time made by Sue Logan.

 

 

 

 

Art 18Article 18: Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.  And this panel is from our very own Salisbury group made by Fiona Donovan.

 

 

 

 

Art 19Article 19: Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression.  This includes sharing ideas with people from other countries.  Another panel from the Mid Gloucester group, this time by June Styles.

 

 

 

 

Art 20Article 20: Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.  This panel was made not by an Amnesty group but by the Harbour Project in Swindon.

The Harbour Project welcomes and supports refugees and asylum seekers in Swindon.  To those who’ve risked their lives, families and homes fleeing war and persecution, they provide friendship and hope for a future.   They have been working tirelessly since the Kosovo crisis in 2000.  Today, they are aiding people from across the world.


This is the third set of detailed pictures from the tapestry currently on display at Salisbury Cathedral at the entrance to the Chapter House where a copy of Magna Carta is displayed.  It illustrates the articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  A picture of the whole thing is on an earlier blog with a short video.

 

Art 11Article 11: Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty.  This panel prepared by Rona Keene of the Bristol group.

 

 

 

 

Art 12Article 12: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with their privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor attacks upon their honour and reputation.  Another panel by Cari a member of the Frome group.

 

 

 

 

Art 13Article 13: Everyone has the right to freedom of movement.  Prepared by the Farringdon group.

 

 

 

 

 

Art 14Article 14: Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.  People lose this right if they do not respect what is written here.  Another panel from the Southampton City group.

 

 

 

 

Art 15Article 15: Everyone has the right to a nationality.  Another panel from the Bristol group this time prepared by Sarah Heath.

 

 

 

 

Any errors or if you want to add a name please let us know .

 


This is the second batch of detailed pictures from the tapestry.  See a previous blog showing the full thing in all its glory and also a short video clip.

Art 6Article 6 Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.  This panel contributed by the Southampton group.

 

 

 

 

Art 7Article 7: All are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal protection of the law.  Made by Caroline Butler on behalf of the Cheltenham and Gloucester group.

 

 

 

 

Art 8Article 8Everyone has the right to legal help when rights granted by a country to its citizens are not respected.  Rachel Berry made this on behalf of the mid-Gloucester group.  She also did No: 5.

 

 

 

 

Art 9Article 9No one should be subject to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.  Made by Cari and Judy, members of the Frome group.

 

 

 

 

Art 10Article 10Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal.  Made by Caroline Butler, the Regional Representative, for the groups in the south.

 

 

 

 

As before, if there are errors or anyone wants to add something, please get in touch or send a comment through this site.

 


In a previous blog we showed the now complete tapestry which is on display, with kind permission of the Cathedral Authorities, outside the Chapter House where one of the extant copies of Magna Carta is displayed.  The tapestry illustrates the 30 articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ratified in December 1948 in Paris.  In this, and subsequent blogs, we will be showing detailed pictures of the panels with appropriate attribution to their creators.  We will be showing them in batches of five.  Overall credit must go to Caroline Butler, the South Region Representative (AI), whose idea this was and who worked hard to bring this tapestry to its successful conclusion.

Most reading this will not be in the Salisbury area and thus may not be able to see it, but it has generated a lot of interest from visitors to the Magna Carta.  We hope in due course that it will go on to be displayed elsewhere in the south region.

Article 1This is Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.  Prepared by Liz James-Froud on behalf of the Bath Group.

 

 

 

 

Artilcle 2Article 2: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedom regardless of race, colour, sex, language, religion, belief, race or origin.  Prepared by Liza Lishman a member of the Swindon and Marlborough group.

 

 

 

 

Article 3 3Article 3: Everybody has the right to life, liberty and security of person.  This panel prepared by someone from the Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch group.

 

 

 

 

Art 4Article 4: No one shall be held in slavery or servitude.  Dot Atkins of the Isle of Wight group.

 

 

 

 

 

Art 5Article 5: No one should be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.  This panel prepared by Rachel Berry or the Mid Gloucester group.

 

 

 

 

If there are any corrections or additions, please get in touch.  The next set of panels will be posted up soon.


Tapestry on display

The tapestry assembled by members of the South Region of Amnesty International, is now on display at the entrance to the Chapter House in Salisbury Cathedral.  Each panel represents one of the clauses of the UN Convention on human rights which led ultimately to the Human Rights Act in the UK.  It is this act that the current Conservative government wants to abolish.  The Chapter house is where one of the surviving copies of Magna Carta is displayed.  We are extremely grateful to the Cathedral Authorities for giving us this space to display the tapestry.  It will be on display for a few months and then will go on display elsewhere in the south region.

Tapestry