"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Friday 17 January 2014

Fleet Street meet, 14th Feb. (Dress up in wedding dresses as a group - men too).


We Are Family Camp - 'join us on St. Valentine's Day to speak about the right to family life' :

Check the new location - St. Bride's Church, Fleet Street, London.

St. Bride's Church is a fantastic venue and an inspired choice by Migrants' Rights Network. The current church was built after the Great Fire of London, along with most of the 50 or so churches in the Square Mile. Each of these so-called Wren churches share certain characteristics, whilst having their own individuality.

One of St. Bride's claims to fame - and the first reason why it's appropriate to this event - is that it is the 'wedding cake' church - the shape of the spire is said to have inspired the traditional wedding cake. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Bride%27s_Church :
'The wedding cake is said to date back to 1703 when Thomas Rich, a baker’s apprentice from Ludgate Hill, fell in love with the daughter of his employer and asked her to marry him. He wanted to make an extravagant cake, and drew on the design of St Bride's Church for inspiration.'

Wedding cake.
Another connection is that it is right in the heart of the traditional journalistic district of London. The old Reuters building at 85 Fleet Street is right next door to it. (There is a personal connection here - this is the building where I started work in London, back towards the end of the last millennium).

Dotted around the church are plaques and memorials to journalists who lost their lives or their freedom in the service of their profession. There is a large plaque bearing the names of Associated Newspapers staff who died during the world wars. There is also the Journalists' Altar, which bears the names of journalists killed during this century; formerly it was known as the Hostage Altar when the UPI journalist John McCarthy was held in Beirut.

You can read a bit about this aspect of the church here : http://www.stbrides.com/visit/what-to-see.php
In a sense it's a temple to freedom of expression, and this creates another link to the cause of human rights, which the campaign to unite divided families is an expression of.

A hard calling - commemorating the lives of journalists : http://www.stbrides.com/news/2012/10/a-hard-calling---reporting-from-the-frontline.html#more

The final connection dates back to the 1580s; a couple called Ananias and Eleanor Dare were married there. The couple emigrated across the Atlantic; their child, Virginia Dare, was the first English child born in North America.

The family were among the founders of the Roanoke Colony, which disappeared mysteriously within a few years (it's also known as the 'Lost Colony') - although some think that the colonists actually integrated with local tribes and therefore their descendants would now be living in America.

The theme of exile connects the church with those who are seeking to be with their loved ones in exile - including those now in Ireland or continental Europe exercising free movement rights, or those with their partners wherever they are in the world.

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