In view of Wellington’s interest in and commitment to issues involving refugees and asylum seekers, members may be interested to know of a new project that has recently been brought to our attention.
In late 2015 the Church of Scotland’s Council of Assembly resolved to establish a refugee co-ordination project to assist the Church in response to a growing humanitarian catastrophe. Day- by-day, news of reports on the situation in Calais, the eastern Mediterranean and elsewhere, along with allegations of mistreatment of asylum seekers in Glasgow by the Home Office sub-contractor, reminds us that this crisis remains very real and also very close: how do societies and communities respond to human need and respect human dignity?
The project – Scottish Faiths Acton for Refugees – is now under way. It is a joint faiths initiative, involving a number of Scottish churches and the main representative ecumenical, Jewish, Muslim and inter-faith groups. (More information about the background and some links to useful resources can be found on the website www.sfar.org.uk; and the work can be followed on Twitter @WithRefugees
The main role of the project is to offer support (through providing information, resources and suggestions for practical action) to local church leaders and congregations on refugee and asylum issues. An occasional email newsletter will be produced, and the project leader, David Bradwell, is available to speak at meetings or take part in worship services.
Through Wellington’s Justice and Peace group and Mission and Outreach committee, we shall be keeping in touch with the project as it develops and following up any possibilities that will strengthen our engagement in this important area of concern.