Refugee Crisis Update

03 December 2015
Graham James, Bishop of Norwich, writes to update us on the Refugee Crisis Appeal. Find out what is being done to help refugees within the Diocese of Norwich.
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Bishop Graham has written a letter to those who offered assistance to the Refugee Crisis Appeal. He updates us on the Appeal, and the work being done in our Diocese:

"It is two months since I wrote a letter to the Diocese about Syrian refugees and our response to the refugee crisis. I am very grateful to everyone who has responded with such generosity. The intention was to ensure that we remembered the many refugees seeking a new life in Europe in our prayers and did what we could to prepare here for those whom we hope may make a new life in Norfolk.

Since that time the flow of people from the war torn regions of the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere has not diminished. We have also been appalled by the random killings in France and elsewhere in the world. There is no inconsistency in seeking to destroy an ideology which attacks our hard won democratic freedoms while also wanting to welcome some of those refugees fleeing the horrors of that same ideology in their native lands.

As many of you may know Norwich City Council has pledged to receive Syrian refugees under the Government scheme and we hope that Norfolk County Council, as the lead authority, will be in a position soon to ensure Norfolk’s participation in that scheme. The numbers likely to come are relatively modest but given that they are likely to come direct from refugee camps their needs may be considerable. Those needs are likely to be met if they are living in relatively close proximity to each other so offers of individual accommodation may not be needed. But those of you who have made such generous offers may be able to assist in other ways.

What will certainly be needed is some financial support to settle refugees in their new homes and provide them with some of the amenities they will need for life in Britain. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the Appeal. That money will be retained to be spent in its entirety in supporting such families since I am confident the need will be there. As I mentioned in my last letter there are other agencies who are assisting refugees in transit, including Christian Aid and Save the Children.

We are approaching the time when we remember the birth of Christ. Jesus was born to parents away from home and with nowhere to stay. Following his birth in a stable, Jesus became a refugee in Egypt. As we approach the Christmas season, let us continue to pray and work for the many refugees in our world who find themselves bewildered by their circumstances but who long for a new life. Among them are our brothers and sisters in Christ and many who have not given up hope despite their adverse circumstances.

Thank you again for your support but even more for your prayers for refugees in our world and all who are in need.

May God be with you during this Advent season and in your Christmas celebrations."

For resources and further information about how to help the Refugee Crisis, visit the Refugee Crisis Appeal Just Giving page.