A large and lively group came to celebrate all things European at Redland Meeting House on 24th March, anticipating the UK’s supposed exit from the EU the following Friday. It turned out we were somewhat en avance and the UK remains in the EU at time of publication while politicians continue to tie and untie Gordian knots, and other important issues are sidelined.
A shared feast of delicious dishes from many of the 28 European countries was enjoyed in a convivial – and sometimes poignant – atmosphere.
The In Accordchoir led by Tom Allport sang beautiful and varied works by Innsbruck, Monteverdi, Debussy and Bruckner and the wonderful Three Rivers trio – Lauren Holloway, Lucy Gilbert and Helen Cockhill – performed close harmony songs from Bulgaria and Georgia.
The children and young people had created a riff on ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ – ‘We’re going to Europe, we don’t need a visa!’ Between chat and socialising there were heartfelt readings in French, Spanish, Italian and English including Gracias a la Vidaby Violeta Parra, read by Susana Askew, and Vola da me by Alda Merini, read by Graziella Mazza. Cato Pedder read two of her own powerful poems, Ways of Staying and Europa Europa.
Tom Allport and Fiona Hamilton coordinated the evening. £200 was raised for Bristol Refugee Rights.