This week in Scotland is National Refugee week. The theme is, Different Pasts, Shared Future. It’s a good title. People now live in Scotland who have come away from some horrible situations. Many are happy just to be alive and many more have left close friends and relatives who are still struggling to get themselves out of some very dangerous places.
I know all this because our pal Rachel was getting a choir together for the launch of the week. She was a little short on numbers so Lorraine agreed to join in. They helped launch the week last week at Kelvingrove Art Gallery here in Glasgow. Tonight at the Tron Theatre I’m heading down with our tribe to see their mum in action as the choir do a wee reprise of their set at the Tron theatre. We can’t wait. Lorraine’s been going around singing African songs for a week so we want to find out what happens when all the chanters get together.
Our pal Rachel runs a place called The Village Story Telling Centre. They encourage people to tell stories and share them. Knowing that I like a wee story they invited me to come and tell a few myself one night. Rachel’s the only person that’s ever said to me. “more stories less music,” so for that, I’m very grateful to her. It’s a great place and in the few years that Rachel’s been there it’s taken on a much bigger role in the life of the people of Pollok. If you’d like to find out more about them you can here.
If you are in Scotland remember it’s refugee week. Remember that there are people who you may be passing every day who have amazing stories. Remember to that these stories will become our stories in generations to come. All countries are made up of people moving from one place to make a new life together. The best countries are places where all these people make it happen together.
Rachel’s centre is in a Church of Scotland building in Pollok. It reminds me of the old apocryphal tale of the preacher who arrived at a church event to speak under the heading, “Who is my neighbour?” Before he got a word in a man heckled from the back pew, “Why don’t you chap his door and ask him?” We could do a lot worse.