Event Moved Online – Saturday 17th September 2022, 10.30am-1pm, ‘To Accompany Refugees’ Westminster Social Justice and Peace Forum

 NB – Owing to the planned rail strikes on Saturday, 17th September 2022, this event has been moved online. Participants will be able to log-on from 10.15am and the meeting will start at 10.30am

All are invited to join Bishops Nicholas Hudson and Paul McAleenan to explore our Diocesan response to refugees. Guest speakers giving input and facilitating discussion will include:

Megan Knowles: Communications and Development Manager at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) – Megan manages a team of staff and volunteers responsible for raising awareness and amplifying the voices and experiences of refugees, which can lead to positive changes in their lives. Megan also leads on fundraising at JRS and her varied role takes her across the UK speaking to schools, parishes and communities about the work of JRS and the importance of welcoming refugees in our own communities.

Teresa Clarke: St Bartholomew’s Church, St Alban’s, Herts – There are 140 asylum seekers housed near St Alban’s and the ecumenical group of South St Alban’s Churches has been organising English conversation groups for some of them since January 2022. These groups have led to closer links with St Alban’s Cathedral and Greenwood United Reformed Church. They have developed networks with other organisations, such as the Jesuit Refugee Service, Herts Welcomes Refugees and the local MP’s office, and look forward to sharing their learning.

Invitation from Bishop Paul McAleenan ‘To Accompany Refugees’:

In his message for World Day of Migrants 2014 Pope Francis wrote, We ourselves need to see, and then to enable others to see, that migrants and refugees do not only represent a problem to be solved, but are brothers and sisters to be welcomed, respected and loved’.

Undeniably, the displacement of people due to war, poverty and persecution is a major problem. The victims are our brothers and sisters. It is our Christian duty to enable them find a home where their basic needs are met and an environment where they can flourish. A truly Christian approach towards refugees seeks not only to provide but also to communicate a welcome, to accompany them on their journey.

How are we to move ‘Towards a Better World’, the title of Pope Francis’ 2014 message? As those seeking shelter and sanctuary continue to arrive on our shores, Westminster Social Justice and Peace Forum invites you to be part of the solution and To Accompany Refugees.