A soulful chorus of voices chanting “I may have lost it all, but I’ve not lost my soul” erupted in the Houses of Parliament last week (12th November 2018), as the Stories of Sanctuary project took to the stage at the annual Sanctuary in Parliament day.
Sanctuary in Parliament is organised by the grassroots movement City of Sanctuary that brings together refugees, asylum seekers and supporters of the movement, along with their MPs who had been invited to the event in the Houses of Parliament, Portcullis House. A total of 35 MPs attended the event who were invited by members of their local constituency campaigning for the right to work for people who have asylum claims outstanding for more than six months, the extension of refugee family reunion, as well as an end to indefinite immigration detention.
The event in Parliament came the day after a rapturous evening performance at St Botolph-without-Bishopsgate Church, near Liverpool Street Station. Sam Slatcher, Raghad Haddad and Dewi Erwan performed, along with the choir. Special guest Hamsa Mounif joined the stage for an unexpected and painstakingly beautiful improved piece, accompanied by National Syrian Orchestra’s Raghad Haddad who’s mournful viola appears on the new Stories of Sanctuary album.
2019 is set to be a year of touring! Stories of Sanctuary will be returning to venues in the North East in the Spring, including ARC Stockton on 22nd March 2019 as well as Newton Aycliffe and Newcastle (TBC). The choir hopes to perform in other cities across the UK in 2019.