“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).



The Message of Pope Francis for the 106th World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 27th September 2020 is entitled “Like Jesus Christ, forced to flee”. In his Message Pope Francis urges us this year to discover the reality of internally displaced people more deeply. The theme of his  Message is developed in six sub-themes expressed by six pairs of verbs: to know in order to understand; to draw near so as to serve; to listen in order to reconcile; to share and thus to grow; to involve in order to promote; and finally, to collaborate and therefore to build.  Every month, a new video of Pope Francis and other multimedia materials will delve into the sub-themes present in his Message.

The XV Ordinary Council of the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, that was presided over by Pope Francis, and gathered in Rome on 6th and 7th February 2020, reflected, among other things, on the consequences of the migratory phenomenon, that is unfolding in several regions of the planet.

Refugees Welcome – Crawley Letter May 2020 asking for help in obtaining bicycles for refugees.

Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme

Six million people have been forced to flee from the war in Syria since 2011. The UNHCR/UK Government Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) enables some of the most vulnerable families to be relocated from refugee camps in the Middle East to the UK where they can rebuild their lives. West Sussex County Council Refugee Resettlement Team supports refugee families in this area working with local volunteer support.

Could you let a home to a refugee family?

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

’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 registered charity (Reg. no. 1186127) supporting refugees and vulnerable migrants in Crawley and surrounding areas. Volunteering opportunities include welcoming and befriending refugee families, helping with English language learning, driving or accompanying families on public transport to medical or other appointments, gardening and DIY and support with budgeting, benefit claims and job seeking. If you would be interested in becoming a volunteer, contact Cathy Merry, RWC Chair on 07968 688380 or email

On the Move is the Refugees Welcome – Crawley Newsletter

RWC Newsletter No.1

RWC Newsletter November 2016

RWC Newsletter December 2016

RWC Newsletter No. 5 Spring 2017

RWC Spring Newsletter 2018

RWC Newsletter No. 6 June 2018

RWC Newsletter Spring 2020

Refugee Tales (2016), Refugee Tales II (2017) and Refugees III (2019) are all available 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, except in the winter months, 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.


Diocesan Appeal

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. Details of how to make a donation are in the Autumn 2018 newsletter.

Refugee Crisis Newsletter Spring 2016

Refugee Crisis Newsletter Autumn 2016

Refugee Crisis Newsletter Summer 2017

Refugee Crisis Newsletter Autumn 2018

Voices in Exile (VIE)

Voices in Exile works with refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants with no recourse to public funds in East and West Sussex and Surrey.

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.