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  • Mondays to Fridays
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  • Café 16
    Mon-Sat 10am-4pm
  • FREE ENTRY

Song For Refugee Week 2024 To Be Performed at Newcastle Cathedral

First published: Sunday 23 June 2024

An original song released for Refugee Week 2024 will be among those performed at a concert at Newcastle Cathedral next month. The event will highlight the powerful voices and stories of those seeking sanctuary or who have come to consider the Cathedral or the city of Newcastle as a place of sanctuary.

Talented singer-songwriter Bushee’s uplifting track ‘Someday’ was written as part of a three-month series of ‘Stories of Sanctuary’ workshops held at the Cathedral led by Citizen Songwriters’ Sam Slatcher. Originally written in Burmese, Bushee translated ‘Someday’ into English, giving it a new life and connecting his personal journey to the broader experience of seeking sanctuary in the UK.

Bushee, one of 11 national Refugee Week 2024 Ambassadors, hails from Myanmar (Burma). Originally pursuing a career in medicine, he ventured to the UK to further his education in healthcare and science. His aspirations were disrupted by the 2021 military coup in Myanmar, forcing him to seek asylum in the UK. Since then, he has actively worked alongside various organisations and community groups dedicated to supporting asylum seekers and refugees.

Bushee’s original song is available on Spotify and Apple Music ahead of the Cathedral performance on Thursday 18 July.

Bushee says: “My song can represent anyone who’s apart from their loved ones… I’m very proud that my song was released for Refugee Week, and I’m so excited that I will get to perform it with the Stories of Sanctuary Choir, thanks to Citizen Songwriters and IMIX UK.”

The Newcastle concert is part of a North East and Yorkshire tour celebrating this year’s Refugee Week theme, ‘Our Home’, and promises to be a moving and inspiring evening of incredible talent and heartfelt performances. Delivered in partnership with Citizen Songwriters and The Arts Society Tyneside, the event will also feature singer-songwriter Sean Cooney from Teesside folk trio The Young’uns.

Sean recently collaborated with Cathedral’s Recovery Church group members to write ‘See Me’, a song that highlights the stigma surrounding addiction. The song will also be performed at the event and is available to listen to below.

The Newcastle workshops have been coordinated by Citizen Songwriters, who launched ‘Stories of Sanctuary’ at Durham Cathedral in 2018. Bringing together diverse residents of the city, the project weaved together ancient stories of seeking sanctuary with stories of Syrian refugees recently settled in towns across County Durham.

The project’s music has toured across the UK, including Leicester, Sheffield, Southampton, and the Houses of Parliament, and new songwriting groups have been set up in County Durham and Sunderland. Each set of songs presents new narratives shaped by the group’s location and experiences.

The Revd Canon Peter Dobson of Newcastle Cathedral says: “As a Cathedral that seeks to be a place of Radical Welcome, a safe and brave space for people facing a range of different challenges day in and day out, this project is so exciting. The workshops [have gathered] a wide range of people to help us, and others, better understand the importance of sanctuary in its many different forms.”

The Newcastle Cathedral ‘Our Home’ concert will be on Thursday 18 July at 7:30pm. Tickets are available on a ‘Give as You Feel’ basis via TicketSource.