Zimbabwean refugee Joseph Chivayo, a volunteer with City of Sanctuary and Derby Refugee Advice Centree was invited to attend a Songs of Praise event arranged by Paul Heppleston on behalf of churches from Wirksworth and Ashbourne held on a fantastic summer’s day in Carsington Water. The event was also supported by FolkFriendly dancers from Belper.
The event began with songs such as Crown him with many Crowns, Praise him on the Trumpet and Ten Thousand Reasons.
This was followed by readings from Isaiah 61: 1-3 and Mathew 25: 34-45 followed by some words from Joseph who spoke about the importance of always being thankful for the simple things in life and taking a moment to reach out to those in need.
Joseph spoke about his journey, the dire political and economic challenges in Zimbabwe and raised awareness on some of the differences between various terms such as asylum seeker, refugee, economic migrant and immigrants and how the City of Derby is responding to various challenges facing the world and extending compassion and humanitarian values. “Its heart warming that people and organisations of all faiths and no faith are coming together to support people fleeing war and persecution and the United Kingdom needs to be proud of that heritage of providing sanctuary and welcome”, said Joseph.
In addition to giving thanks, praise and worship through song and dance, the event also supported 3 charities – the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline which has been working for 30 years since the original nuclear disaster in 1986, WaterAid which has been operating since 1981 providing clean water to the poorest people in countries in the world and Derby Refugee Advice Centre which offers advice, advocacy and support to asylum seekers and refugees in Derby.