“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).
Being Human in the Asylum System: a fresh perspective drawn from Catholic Social Teaching produced by the Jesuit Refugee Service.
Recent statements from the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales on migrants and refugees:
‘Migrants and refugees enrich society not usurp our way of life’. Speaking at a Vatican press conference, Bishop Paul McAleenan encourages Catholics to have ‘a heart open to the world’ when engaging with migrants and refugees.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Aid for Afghan Refugees
RWC’s focus is on short-term emergency aid at the current time. In the coming months and over the next five years, RWC may also be called upon to help resettle Afghan families arriving in the Crawley area on any of the Afghan Resettlement Schemes, in a similar way to their ongoing support for Syrian refugee families. A plea from RWC:
“You can help by directly donating items to refugees and asylum seekers in need through our ‘Give Today’ wish list. Click on the link to purchase the items currently needed by the refugees and asylum seekers. Your gift will go to immediately improve the lives of people who have escaped from war, trauma and persecution in search of a safety and a new start. A warm jacket as the weather gets colder, a pair of trainers for someone with only flip flops, or a personal hygiene item can really make that difference. Grateful thanks to anyone who can offer this hand of welcome.”
Refugees Welcome – Crawley Letter May 2020 asking for help in obtaining bicycles for refugees.
The Government is closing the doors on child refugees. The Government’s new plans to reform the asylum system rip up asylum rights for the majority of refugees arriving in Britain and include no new safe routes to sanctuary. Please read the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants rebuttal of myths and inaccuracies on Channel crossings below.
The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants tackles the myths and inaccuracies of the claims about asylum seekers from the government.
This year, the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees will be celebrated on 26th September. Catholics worldwide are called upon to remember those displaced by conflict and persecution.
Towards an ever wider “we”: the Message of His Holiness Pope Francis stresses “the importance of being attentive to the entire human family through an inclusive Church that reaches out and is capable of creating communion in diversity.”
It also gives special attention to the care of our common home, “which translates into care of our common family, care of the ‘we’ that can, and must, become ever more open and welcoming.”
The Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, Bishop Paul McAleenan, discusses Pope Francis’ message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees.
In his new video, Pope Francis tells us not to be afraid to dream; rather, we should dream together as a single human family. Two Venezuelan migrants relate how integration has allowed them to fulfill themselves and dream of a better future.
The Migrants and Refugees Section and the Integral Ecology Sector of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development have jointly produced a booklet entitled “Pastoral Orientations on Climate Displaced Persons,” intended to guide the Church’s response to the phenomenon of migration caused by the climate crisis
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 email@example.com
’28 Tales for 28 Days’ is an 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.
Refugee Tales (2016), Refugee Tales II (2017), Refugees Tales III (2019) and Refugee Tales IV (2021) 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.
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.