By Matthew Maslen, J&P Newsletter editor

This week (19th – 25th June), is Refugee Week. This year, the 25th Anniversary of Refugee Week, the theme is Compassion.

The organisers, Refugee Week UK, “invite you to celebrate what compassion looks like in action”. They call on us to draw on our experiences to help us to be compassionate “not just to ourselves and those in our immediate circle, but to all our human neighbours and our one shared home, planet earth”.

Back in 1998 Refugee Week was founded in response to the hostility faced by refugees in the media and society.

The week is intended as a festival “celebrating the contributions, creativity and resilience of refugees and people seeking sanctuary”. Through art, culture, sport and education people are brought together to connect with and understand one another.

We have collated a (non-exhaustive) list of events happening around the area that you may be interested in.

You may have seen on our social media that the Leeds Church Institute is holding an exhibition during Refugee Week titled ‘Seeing Asylum Exhibition’.  The launch event included speakers such as Minister for Leeds, Reverend Paul Maybury and Dwayne Hutchinson, Faith and Radical Justice Lead for LCI. The exhibition is  open until Saturday 24th June so if you have a chance, head over to Leeds Minster and check it out!

Here’s a link to the LCI event page:

There are a range of events taking place during Refugee Week all across the Diocese.

These include the Leeds Refugee World Cup 2023 which will be held at Trinity Academy, Tore Rd, LS9 7QL on 24th from 10am – 4pm.

In Halifax, the exhibition ‘Compassion’ is open from 19th-24th in the Everybody Gallery in partnership with the St Augustine Centre.

In Keighley, at 6pm on 22nd June, Keighley Creative will host a Peace Meal at Keighley College. Here attendees are invited to enjoy a delicious meal provided by Bradford-based Syrian restaurant Bab Tooma, a performance of multilingual poetry by Nabeela Ahmed. Learn about Keighley College’s work as a College of Sanctuary and see creative work by their ESOL Students.”

For those of you who are based closer to Bradford, there are plenty of events happening in and around the city over the week. Highlights include:

The Art Exhibition at Trapezium Arts which is open to the public to view from 21st – 24th June.

And the ‘Great Get Together’ in Peel Park on 24th June from 12-3pm.

You can find the full list of events over the week happening in Bradford here: