Rainbows Across Borders Chorus
Following their successful performance at Kick it Out – 25th Anniversary Celebrations at Chelsea Football Club, the Chorus were pleased to be invited to perform at the LDPA AGM. The programme chosen were songs sung in the 1960’s as Black Communities organised and campaigned against the harm and persecution suffered since being shipped as slaves from Africa. Songs sadly that still need to be heard to remind us that Black Lives Still Matter. Likewise, when the Chorus sang Sailing this was to acknowledge that people fleeing wars, famine and persecution in their countries of origin are often forced to take perilous journeys across stormy seas seeking lands where they could hopefully be free.
History and purpose
A small group of like-minded friends seeking asylum in the UK because of the ill-treatment and persecution they had suffered in their countries because they were LGBT, decided to form a self help group. It is owned by its membership and develops and provides services exclusively for LGBT asylum seekers. Now known as Rainbows Across Borders its prime function is to collectively provide care, comfort & support for members in their application to the Home Office for asylum.
In June 2013 it was decided to create a Chorus. Primarily it was seen as being therapeutic, enjoyable and a nice way to welcome newcomers. The Chorus helps members to build self-esteem & confidence. In addition, the Chorus provides a means of presenting their stories to a wider audience and gain sympathetic support for what the group tries to achieve. That’s why they chose to be called a Chorus. Their purpose is not just to sing, but through singing to tell stories about their struggle, and the struggles of others who are being unjustly persecuted. The membership of the Chorus is constantly changing as members get Granted Leave to Remain in the UK: or who are relocated by the Home Office or just move on.
The singers have learned that as they struggle to be accepted by the Home Office as LGBT refugees they have been supported by the thoughtful care received from the Unitarians in Croydon. That’s why they were pleased to be invited to perform at the LDPA AGM knowing that as they sang they could be ‘proud to be who they were’ with Unitarian friends they could trust. www.rainbowsacrossborders.co.uk
Article by the Chorus’s founder Ray Harvey-Amer.
Camp Jojo: summer fun on the farm with friends and families of Colchester Unitarians.
See the winter edition of IMPULSE for the full story.
LDPA Unitarians had a significant presence at this year's London Pride march in June 2016. Watch the video above to see more.
FUSE (Festival of Unitarians in the SouthEast) is a weekend-long event celebrating our Unitarian community. These videos will give you a flavour of what FUSE is all about.
The weekend: www.ukunitarian.tv?fuse14
The New Age by Rev Bill Darlison: www.ukunitarian.tv?newage
Atheism by Rev Andy Pakula: www.ukunitarian.tv?atheism
The Road Ahead by SimpleGifts: www.ukunitarian.tv?roadahead
Sermon by Rev Bill Darlison: www.ukunitarian.tv?fuse14-sermon
Opening words by Rev David Usher: www.ukunitarian.tv?fuse14-open
Ralph Catts about Multiculturalism: www.ukunitarian.tv?multi