On Ash Wednesday, 1 March 2017, we received in Chapel a cross which is simultaneously a work of art, and a poignant reminder of the human cost of the Refugee and Migration crisis in the Mediterranean. The cross is made from the timbers of a refugee boat that came ashore at Lampedusa in 2016. The carpenter, Francesco Tuccio, has been using this material to remind the world of the frail boats and many deaths. 2443 people died in the Mediterranean in 2016 making the crossing.
Francesco Tuccio has called this “The Cross of Migrants”. Its presence in the chapel is intended to provide a physical focus for our prayers and concerns. The College community has responded in a wide range of ways to this challenge. Fundraising, campaigning, welcoming a Visiting Scholar from a place of danger, sending baby slings, educating ourselves about the dynamics of the crisis, supporting a studentship for a refugee, and a studentship for refugee studies.
Francesco Tuccio sent with the cross six very inadequate looking lifejackets.
For the moment the cross is tied to a pillar in the chapel. We hope to find a way of mounting it more permanently, with the lifejackets as a powerful reminder of the individual lives and terrifying risks they represent.
A free weekly recital in aid of the crisis is held every Monday during term in Chapel