St Colman’s Parish Church, Kilroot, held a ‘meet and greet’ evening for asylum seekers in March 16, the eve of St Patrick’s Day.
The parish welcomed 60 asylum seekers from Eritrea, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Nigeria, Uganda, Somalia and Sudan to the church hall, along with people from the different churches in Carrickfergus who are also working with asylum seekers.
A great selection of food was prepared by people from Syria, Iran, Yemen, Uganda and Nigeria, and following the meal, some of the ladies from the African nations gave a dance demonstration.
Next up were the Kurdish men, then the Syrians, Iranians, Eritreans and Yemenis.
The rector, the Rev Nigel Kirkpatrick, said: “Pretty soon everyone was on the floor trying in their own unique way to emulate the dancing. All in all, it was a wonderful evening of food, fellowship and encounter. Everyone had a great time, and friendships were renewed and built.”
The costs of hosting the event were covered by a grant from the Belfast Cathedral Black Santa Appeal.