CTBI’s Churches’ Refugee Network met on 13 September and discussed how CRN could widen its reach and more effectively share information amongst its network of Christian faith-based organisations and beyond to smaller churches and communities.
Among other discussions, the meeting heard about the upcoming #welcomingeurope campaign, plans to mark the upcoming anniversary of Kinder Transport, the #LiftTheBan campaign to remove the prohibition on people seeking asylum taking paid employment), 28 Tales for 28 Days highlighting the UK’s indefinite detention policy through refugee stories, and the lack of government response to JPIT’s End Hostility report (which is now accompanied by a youth group resource).
Welcome Churches have created an online referral system to match newly-arrived refuges and asylum seekers with communities cross the UK (currently Manchester, Sheffield, Derby, Nottingham, Leicester, Oxford and London) who will connect with their new neighbours and offer welcome boxes. The organisation is also running Resilience Toolbox training on 17 November to equip people in refugee ministry with pressure coping strategies.
CRN also heard from USPG about its continued partnership with the Diocese in Europe, the very high numbers of refugees in camps on the island of Lesbos, the effect of summer storms on those Greek camps, the sluggish process for relocation and family reunion and how forthcoming Greek elections are distracting from broader social policy issues.
Best wishes were extended from CRN to Shari Brown who will shortly take up the post of Executive Director with CCME, and the group looked forward to CTBI’s new Director of Justice and Inclusion, Richard Reddie, being in post to attend its next meeting.