“It is in the welcome to the poor and the strangers that special attention should be paid, because in them Christ is more truly received” Rule of St Benedict, Chapter 53.
“Faced with the tragedy of tens of thousands of refugees fleeing death on account of war and hunger and who are travelling towards a hope of life, the Gospel calls us to be ‘neighbours’ to the smallest and abandoned and to give them concrete hope.” (Pope Francis in his Message for the World Day for Migrants and Refugees, 17th January 2016).
Could you let a home to a refugee family?
Millions of refugees are Syrian families forced to flee during eight years of war. The Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) enables the most vulnerable families to be relocated from refugee camps in the Middle East to a safe country where they can rebuild their lives. West Sussex CC are part of the UK Government’s commitment to the UNHCR scheme with ring fenced financial help. Are you someone who could offer a two or three bedroom house or flat in Crawley or East Grinstead (preferably with a garden), available for 12 months minimum, near good public service and transport links and available now or in the near future? The rent for the house/flat offered would be to rent at local housing benefit rates. Please contact Cathy Merry, Refugees Welcome – Crawley on 07968688380 or firstname.lastname@example.org
’28 Tales for 28 Days’ is a new initiative to highlight calls for a time limit and to extend conversations about indefinite detention. The UK is the only country in Europe that detains people indefinitely. Refugee Tales shares the stories of those who have experienced detention.
Refugees Welcome – Crawley (RWC) is a community group that is affiliated to Citizens UK and the resettlement boards that have come into being all over the country to offer a community welcome for Syrian refugees. Refugees Welcome – Crawley includes members from Crawley Interfaith Network, Crawley Campaign Against Racism, local mosques, churches and schools. Members are arranged in three groups: Education, Housing and Business and General Welfare. Refugees Welcome – Crawley welcomes new members. If you would like to join please contact RWCanna@gmail.com
Volunteer Opportunities with RWC: train to become a befriender or English teacher (contact Anna Pincus at email@example.com); join a community sewing project (no sewing experience needed) to celebrate Crawley’s 70th birthday (contact firstname.lastname@example.org); make tea or facilitate play for Syrian children whose families are attending English language drop-in classes (contact Henrietta.Newell@btinternet.com); aged 16- 25? join a group offering social opportunities such as gardening, art, bowling to young refugees (contact David at email@example.com)
On the Move is the Refugees Welcome – Crawley Newsletter
Refugee Tales (2016), Refugee Tales II (2017) and Refugees III (2019 are allavailable in the Abbey Bookshop. They are collections of tales told by leading poets and novelists in collaboration with refugees, former immigration detainees and those who work with them.
Refugee Gardening Project
Potatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, spinach, courgettes and peas have all been grown in a patch in the Worth Parish Office garden and in the garden of one of the Syrian families supported by Refugees Welcome – Crawley. Every fortnight in the Parish garden, RWC volunteers and Syrian friends, ably led by our gardening expert, Rose, have been hard at work, planting and watering, but also ensuring they have time to drink tea, chat and enjoy the peace of the garden.
(See slideshow below)
Does anyone have space in their garden for a group of families, directed by gardeners from Refugees Welcome – Crawley, to cultivate plants and vegetables? Please get in touch with the Parish office if you can help.
In his Pastoral Letter for the 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, 13th September, 2015, Bishop Richard set out the ways in which the Diocese could help in the Refugee Crisis. Monetary donations have been deposited pending longer-term discussion about how best to utilise them to relieve the pain and frustration of families and individuals. If you would like to make a financial donation please use the Gift Aid Declaration form:
Brighton Voices in Exile (BVIE)
In a joint ecumenical initiative the Diocese of Arundel and Brighton and the Diocese of Chichester are working together, alongside Brighton Voices in Exile, to respond to the needs of refugees. BVIE is based in St Mary Magdalen’s Catholic Church in Brighton. BVIE has nearly ten years’ experience of working with refugees and asylum seekers, from various countries, who have settled in Sussex. You can read the full news release on the joint initiative here.
Crawley Interfaith Network has a regular collection of donations for Syrian refugees which are sent via Human Aid. The Crawley collection point is: Langley Green Masjid 157, London Road RH10 9TA (entrance is from Martyrs Avenue, through Depot Lane, near Langley Green Hospital). The venue is open all day and donations can he left outside the entrance.