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Thursday, 19 May 2016

Diocese of London: First For Refugees event

Tonight I was at the first For Refugees event held in the Diocese of London and organised by Angela Afzal, Refugee Response Coordinator. Hosted by The Rt Revd Jonathan Butler, Bishop of Fulham, at St Andrew Holborn for the Two Cities, contributors included Angela Afzal, Marie-Christian Nibagwire (Saferefugerwanda), Revd Richard Carter (St Martin-in-the-Fields), and Andy Burns (Capital Mass).

These evenings are designed to raise awareness and explore how Areas, Deaneries and Parishes can compassionately respond to the current refugee crisis. The speakers sought to inspire those present into action. Local refugee agencies showcased partnerships which aim to bring lasting hope to those fleeing war and persecution.

I was there to provide information about International Groups, a new ministry initiative for churches, supported by St Martin-in-the-Fields which encourages churches to provide a place of welcome, hospitality and sanctuary for people with no recourse to public funds.

The Sunday International Group at St Martin-in-the-Fields was set up in September 2013 aiming to provide a place of welcome, hospitality and sanctuary for foreign nationals who are destitute in London, focusing especially on those with no recourse to public funds. It provides a hot meal, access to showers and laundry and helps with essential needs. It provides social interaction and a sense of community with others in similar situations and with the volunteers.

St Martin’s wishes to encourage and support other churches in providing similar international groups and to help provide a framework and to share our experience about how this might be possible. Each new initiative, of course, depends on the needs of your area and the resources you have available.

Other events in the For Refugees series of events are:

Date: Monday 23rd May Time: 7pm - 9pm Speaker: Alastair Murray, Housing Justice
Venue: St John on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA

Date: Tuesday 31 May 2016 Time: 7.30pm - 9.30pm Speaker: Hannah Elwyn, Refugee Support Network
Venue: St John’s Church Landsdowne Crescent, Notting Hill, London W11 2NN

Date: Tuesday 7th June Time: 7pm - 9pm Speaker: Revd Sam Wells, St Martin-in-the-Fields
Venue: St Michael’s Church, Camden Road, London, NW1 9LQ

Date: Thursday 9th June Time: 8pm - 9.45pm Speaker: Emma Kevan, United Society (formally USPG)
Venue: St John’s Church, Mattock Lane, West Ealing, London W13 9LA


CompassionArt - Fill My Cup.

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