Saturday, June 15, 2024

Bishop launches appeal for Syrian refugees families

THE Bishop of Chelmsford has launched a diocesan-wide appeal for a fund to help support Syrian refugee families.

Stephen Cotterell, the Bishop of Chelmsford, has said:

“We call upon Christian people in East London and Essex to give generously, to pray for peace in the Middle East, and to work in partnership with others that we can give a heartfelt and generous welcome to those who are fleeing persecution and who come to us in great need.

“The Bible tells us that when we serve each other we serve Christ. The stranger in our midst, the person in need, is not only where we are most likely to encounter Christ, but also the person from whom we will receive from Christ today. Therefore to give without any expectation of getting anything back, save the joy of being blessed by service, is fundamental to the Christian life.

“In the Diocese of Chelmsford we are convinced that that as we respond in loving service and compassion to the vast humanitarian crisis in Syria so we have an opportunity to live out what we believe. We are appalled by the horrors and indignities of this conflict. We pray for peace and justice in our world.

“But we also recognise that by our response to this situation we can be changed for the better. We also believe this can be true for our nation, shifting the way we understand and discern our priorities. We can’t do everything, but we can do something, and this ‘something’ can make a difference. It is our hope that the Church can be at the centre of our nation’s response.

“We are also calling on the government to increase the offer of provision that has been made. It is good that our nation is prepared to play its part, but we believe it would be possible to take more people than the 20,000 that have already been announced. “

As part of the response the diocese will be making some of its own houses available. Three possible properties and a closed church have been identified to help with immediate need.

A co-ordinating group of lay people and clergy will work with ecumenical partners, other faith communities, local councils, other agencies and Citizens UK.

The diocese has written to all the local authorities in its region explaining its hopes and pledging help. A great need for those arriving in this country will be things such as translation, filling in forms, and the other practical tasks of welcome. The church is very well placed to help with this.

Ways to Give:

If you would like to make an Online donation to this appeal, please click on the button below.

Alternatively, to make a Text donation, text CDBF14 followed by an amount of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.

Or send a Cheque made payable to CDBF with ‘Refugee Appeal’ on the reverse to Refugee Appeal, Diocese of Chelmsford, 53 New Street, Chelmsford CM1 1AT

Thank you very much for your support.


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