On Friday 15 December, Deal Pier was lit up with a beautiful lantern parade organised by local human rights charity Samphire, who also host Dover and Deal Cliffs of Sanctuary, in partnership with Deal Town Council and local school children.
This procession marked one year on from a tragedy in the English Channel which saw lives lost – an event which has tragically been repeated this year too. Coming at the end of 2023, this parade importantly also represents a community’s hope for a more welcoming and compassionate future – a vision shared by children in local Schools of Sanctuary.
The event began at the entrance to the pier and those assembled were joined by Deal Town Mayor Cllr Oliver Richardson. The parade walked to the end of the pier where all were treated to a carol performance from and sing along with the Deal Landmark Choir – with plenty of festive refreshments for the school children too.
Samphire have been working with local primary school children to learn about togetherness and welcome through the Schools of Sanctuary programme, and for this parade, children in these schools created beautiful painted lanterns to use in the procession.