What Can I do ?

'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'

(Matthew 25, 37-41)

Migration has played a key part in the history of humanity. Many of us have stories of how our ancestors moved within and across countries out of necessity, perhaps seeking sanctuary from hardship, wars and genocides.

The Abrahamic faiths share stories of people who were nomads, and in the account of the nativity of Christ we recall the savage oppression under Herod that forced the Holy Family to take flight as refugees. No wonder that among the key requirements of our faith is the need to show hospitality and kindness to strangers.

If you want to help those who are stuck in Calais:

The Diocese of Canterbury has prepared a useful toolkit for supporting refugees which can be found by following this link:  https://www.canterburydiocese.org/refugee-crisis-five-ways-to-respond/

Join the Facebook group where people are co-ordinating the aid they’re taking to Calais: Calais Migrant Solidarity Action From UK

Given our relationship with the Diocese of Evreux you might consider supporting Secours Catholique –  http://pasdecalais.secours-catholique.org/How-to-support-the-actions-of                 

Housing Justice has published guidance on Models of Accommodation and Support for Migrants -  http://www.housingjustice.org.uk/data/__resources/648/Models-of-accommodation-and-support-for-migrants-with-NRPF.pdf

Refugee Action is an independent charity that has been working with refugees for over thirty years. http://www.refugee-action.org.uk/

The Churches Commission for Migrants in Europe is an ecumenical organisation that serves the churches in their commitment to promote the vision of an inclusive community through advocating for an adequate policy for migrants, refugees and minority groups at European and national level.   http://www.ccme.be/           

Other Donations

If you want to donate money, there are lots of organisations with open appeals. Doctors of the World are currently the only organisation providing medical care to refugees in Calais, you can donate to them and find out more -  https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/pages/calais-appeal           

The British Red Cross is calling for more funds to support affected people in Syria and neighbouring countries. The Emergency Syria Crisis Appeal page is -  http://www.redcross.org.uk/What-we-do/Emergency-response/Current-emergency-appeals/Syria-Crisis-Appeal        


There are many organisations which have petitions and other lobbying activities. The largest formal petition to Parliament is  https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/105991 and it should already lead to a debate.

Longer term responses

Some local councils are putting plans in place to receive new refugees. There will be many opportunities to help – please see the Diocesan website - http://www.salisbury.anglican.org/mission/social-justice/migration-and-refugees

and other groups for updates and general advice. Offering a room in your own home may be a possibility but please seek support in considering the issues involved.

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