A Generous Exhibition

April 8th, 2016

A Generous Exhibition

Myself and Fr John Moffat from the Hurtado Centre visited three Catholic Primary Schools in Tower Hamlets. We gave assemblies on the journeys refugees all over the world are making. We invited the children to make pictures for an exhibition at the Hurtado Centre on ‘Journey’, thinking about the journeys of refugees

Great conversation and engagement with children at English Martyr's Primary School

Great conversation and engagement with children at English Martyr’s Primary School                                               

It is a tough job getting hold of a primary head teacher! In all the multifarious tasks modern teaching requires, there is barely enough time for them to eat their lunch let alone answer the phone. After a concerted effort on our part we spoke with heads from three schools, and their response, once you had their attention, was one of generosity. They were generous with their time, and generous with their students, and moreover wanted to do what they could as schools to show their support for refugees. John Moffat and myself visited St Anne’s in Whitechapel, English Martyr’s in Tower Hill and Our Lady and St Joseph’s in Poplar. Each school was different, but all three had students who showed in many senses greater maturity than our own politicians.

John’s explanation of the Syrian crisis did not in any way over simplify it. I was learning too, and I worried that perhaps the kids would be lost in explanations of the different factions tearing the country apart. But they rose to the challenge. In the discussion afterwards you could see how they had listened and thought about the problems. They all wanted, in a way some cynics might call naive, to welcome the refugees here, to help bring peace, to send them what they needed. Hundreds of students responded by sending us pictures on the subject of Journey. They are incredibly moving, and will be displayed in the Hurtado Centre from the 18th of April to the 18th of March. I recommend anyone who can to come along and see the exhibition.

Rebecca Gormally