Diocese of Canterbury: Refugee Crisis Toolkit

diocese of canterbury logoThe Diocese of Canterbury has published a refugee crisis toolkit with five ways to respond. (The Diocese of Guildford have a similar set of responses that form an acrostic PEACE.)

  • ACT – Groups are suggested who accept donations of finance and goods to help refugees and migrants in Calais and elsewhere across the world.
  • SERVE – Listing charities and organisations – including long-term projects based in Kent – who accept volunteers.
  • CAMPAIGN & ADVOCATE – Campaigning, signing petitions, writing to your MP, and working with activist groups are all powerful ways to give a voice to migrants and refugees and to stand alongside them.
  • GET INFORMED – A list of organisations who supply information about the refugee crisis including the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and the UNHCR.
  • PRAY – Webpages that collate together prayers and spiritual resources to help churches to reflect and remember refugees and migrants, as well as those communities and organisations trying to meet their needs.

domenica_pecoraro_the_diocese_of_canterburys_new_refugee_projects_officerThe Diocese of Canterbury recently appointed a new Refugee Projects Officer, Domenica Pecoraro. The post has been developed in partnership with Migrant Help UK and Kent Refugee Action Network. The new officer writes for the Church of England’s communications blog:

It’s a challenging but vital area of social need. Refugees face many difficulties when they arrive in a country: uncertainty about their futures, the challenge of a new language, different social norms, and lack of contact with their families. They need targeted support to overcome what has happened to them, as well as help learning a new language and adjusting into a new society. With the support of our partners, I hope to help raise awareness of that experience with others, so that we can begin to challenge indifference towards migrants, as well as establish how we can better facilitate those already working with refugees in the community.

Previously a senior projects officer at an educational resource centre for Bangladeshi female migrants in London, Domenica adds:

In a society where you tend to be always looking for more and where you seem never to be satisfied, they taught me to treasure what I have got already. I was a privileged witness of part of their journey into the unknown. In a city like London, they kept me rooted, and showed me that feeling welcomed and valued is a mutual experience. I felt comfortable, welcomed and valued working with them.

A Prayer for Refugees by Bishop Trevor

Almighty and merciful God
whose Son became a refugee
and had no place to call his own;

Look with mercy on those who today
are fleeing from danger,
loveless and hungry.

Bless those who work to bring them relief;

inspire generosity and compassion in all our hearts;

and guide the nations of the world towards that day
when all will rejoice in your Kingdom of justice and peace.

Through Jesus Christ our Lord