Supporting Refugees in Our Diocese
All over our county, hundreds of refugees – men, women, and children – have been placed in emergency hotel accommodation. Churches have a key role to play in helping them to resettle with financial support and schemes such as Welcome Churches.
Our Partnership Officer, Revd Liam O’Boyle told us, ‘Most arrive in the UK with nothing and are given £8 a week to live on. Often, they feel isolated which adds to the trauma they’ve already experienced when escaping their homelands.’
When churches welcome refugees, we discover just how much they enrich us by teaching us new things about God and ourselves. It’s also good to remember that Jesus himself was born to a refugee family.
Your church can apply for a grant from Allchurches to cover the costs of supporting Afghan refugees.
As well as finding a place of safety, many are desperate for a welcome with the kind of hospitality that Jesus modelled, and the Early Church embodied. We are called to welcome people from different nationalities and backgrounds as seen in Romans 12:13: “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality.”
Churches are a ready-made community where refugees and asylum seekers can find a sense of belonging, of family. We are often at the heart of local communities. We can introduce refugees to local people, help them to learn English, and to develop their skills.
Your church can become a safe place for refugees in Nottinghamshire by joining with Welcome Churches, a charity that trains churches on how to best support refugees in their local communities. Welcome Churches are a lifeline for refugees like Abbas who struggled when he first came to the UK. He then visited his nearest Welcome Church which had committed to helping refugees like him.
Abbas said, “I was really encouraged, especially when people prayed for me. I had lost my whole family, but with my church, I have found a new home and a new family.”
Our Prayer for Refugees
God of grace,
Watch over all refugees
Embrace them in the pain
Of their partings.
Into their fear and loss, send love.
Open our eyes that we might
see You in them.
Open our hearts that they might
See You in us.
Open our arms that we might
Welcome refugees to new homes.
As You stretched out Your arms
And invited everyone home.