CTBI Churches’ Refugee Network meets

The CTBI Churches’ Refugee Network formally met today for the first time.

It’s the result of a merger between the well established Churches’ Refugee Network (which included representatives of churches, practitioners working directly with asylum seekers and people with theological resources in the area) and a regular meeting of NGOs (which includes representatives of the principal Christian and church-based charities working in this area).

After introductions across the merged ecumenical group, the attendees were updated in developments around Safe Passage, a recent conference on statelessness (which affects an estimated 600,000 people in Europe and 10-15 million people worldwide) as well as an progress on planning a conference likely to be held in January or February next year. We’ll share more information on those topics on Focus on Refugees over the coming weeks and months.

Attendees heard Inderjit Bhogal share the story of Sheffield which became the UK’s first City of Sanctuary and reflect on the Scriptural teaching that provides a foundation for churches responding to the need to offer hospitality with safety. Quakers in Britain also shared their work to build a culture of sanctuary through their Sanctuary Meetings.

The organisations present in the room – and conferenced in online – each shared an update of their varying practical and policy work across the fields of asylum, refugees and migration.

The unified CTBI network looks forward to pooling its experience and being able to take more effective action across a range of issues with its expanded membership.