Westminster Justice and Peace among signatories of letter to Priti Patel urging rethink of the government’s New Plan for Immigration

Source: Independent Catholic News

A coalition of faith groups and faith leaders have written to to Home Secretary Priti Patel urging her to rethink the government’s proposed New Plan for Immigration, which they say ‘lack humanity and respect for human dignity.’

Signatories include the Jesuit Refugee Service, Caritas, Welcome Churches, the Salvation Army, Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network, UK Welcomes Refugees, the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the United Free Church of Scotland and many others.

The full statement follows:

On 24 March 2021, the Home Secretary, Priti Patel, announced the government’s New Plan for Immigration (NPFI), which was launched alongside a consultation on the proposals. Following the closure of the consultation on 6 May 2021, the government is planning to introduce a bill to enshrine the proposals into UK law.

As a coalition of Christian faith groups and faith leaders brought together by the St Vincent de Paul Society (England & Wales), we believe these proposals lack humanity and respect for human dignity. We believe it would be wrong to create a system in which the way people enter the UK will impact how their asylum claim is processed and the status they might receive.

Many people who are forced to flee their homes in desperate circumstances simply have no choice but to cross borders informally to reach a safe haven; to penalise them for this is to abandon the very principle of international protection. Moves to criminalise and penalise undocumented entry to the UK set out in the NPFI mean it will effectively be impossible for most people to claim asylum in the UK because safe and legal routes for claiming asylum in the UK are extremely limited, and could never feasibly be made available to all who need them. We cannot ignore their plight and reduce it to a statistical act of bureaucracy.

This nation has a long history of welcoming people from all over the world. People who have arrived in our communities through the asylum system are our neighbours, members of our congregations and valued members of our neighbourhoods. We should recognise our common interests of family, community and faith, and embrace the diversity which makes our communities dynamic and vibrant. We call for a rejection of hostility towards people seeking asylum and an end to punitive measures aimed at people who are seeking sanctuary in our country.

We welcome the government’s commitment to resettlement through the new UK Resettlement Scheme (UKRS) and look forward to the announcement of resettlement targets for the years to come, but this must not be at the expense of an asylum system that strives to offer protection to those who need it.

We urge the Home Secretary to embed principles of welcome, protection and integration into the government’s policies. We must treat individuals and families seeking sanctuary on our shores as our brothers and sisters and valued members of our communities. How we respond to those in need has profound implications for who we are as a society. Recognising our obligations to those who seek sanctuary is fundamental to building a just and flourishing nation.

Signed by

Elizabeth Palmer – CEO St Vincent de Paul Society

Ben Gilchrist – Chief Executive of Caritas Shrewsbury

Lizzie Reynolds – Ordinand on placement at Ripon Cathedral

Sarah Teather, Director, Jesuit Refugee Service UK

Emily Holden – Acting CEO at Welcome Churches

Anne-Marie Tarter – Member of the congregation of Ripon Cathedral

Rev Dr Simon Cartwright – Vicar at Walbrook Epiphany Team

Sister Margaret Barrett – Director of Mission, Daughters of Charity Services

Naomi Bennett and Danielle Wilson, Co-CEOs at Red Letter Christians UK

Carmelite Prior of Aylesford in Kent

Barbara Forbes, Quaker Asylum and Refugee Network

Rev Will Leaf, Vicar at St Mark’s Kensal Rise

Claudia Holmes – UKCEN Founder

Sally Smith, Sanctus St Mark’s, Diocese of Lichfield Sally Smith

Catherine Gladwell, Chief Executive, Refugee Education UK

Rev Ian Rutherford, City Centre Minister, Methodist Central Hall, Manchester

Mauricio Silva, Coordinator at Fatima House

Ben Bano & Phil Kerton, Co-Directors – Seeking Sanctuary

Ros Holland, Chief Exec, Boaz Trust Ros Holland

Rev Gerard Goshawk, Six Ways Erdington Baptist Church, Birmingham

Revd Jon Scamman, Vicar of St Thomas’ Church Lancaster

Reynette Roberts MBE, CEO of Oasis Cardiff

Nadine Daniel BEM, Campaigns and Communications Coordinator, UK Welcomes Refugees

Rev Ian Dyble, Priest in Charge, The Weybourne Group of Churches (CofE)

Hugh McLeod, Derby Quakers Hugh McLeod

Sr Margaret Walsh, Patron and Trustee, St Chad’s Sanctuary

Domenica Pecoraro, Kent Refugee Project Officer, Diocese of Canterbury

Patrick Coyle, Chair of Cytûn: Churches Together in Wales

Mark Wiggin, Director of Caritas Diocese of Salford

Julian Prior, CEO, Action Foundation

Church and Peace, Britain and Ireland Region

National Justice and Peace Network

Barbara Kentish, Committee member of Westminster Justice and Peace

Paul Southgate, Chair of National Justice and Peace Network

Christians Aware

Vicar is David Tomlinson, St Paul’s in the Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

Paul Parker, Recording Clerk, Quakers in Britain

People Not Walls UK

Revd. Lynn Green – General Secretary, Baptist Union of Great Britain

Fr Michael Hartley

Rev Maureen Priddin, Chaplain for Justice and Peace Derby Cathedral, Member of the Derby City of Sanctuary network

John O Fulton, Moderator of the General Assembly, United Free Church of Scotland

Bishop Nolan, President of Justice and Peace Scotland, commission of the Catholic Church in Scotland

David Moore, Easton Christian Family Centre

Rev Canon Simon Gatenby, Christ Church Brunswick, Manchester

South Lancaster Refugee Welcome

Natalie Williams, CEO, Jubilee+

Jo Simister, Derby City Deanery

Lancaster Quakers

The Church at Carrs Lane, Birmingham (Methodist and United Reformed Church)

Fr Dominic Robinson, Chairman Westminster Justice and Peace Commission

Rev’d Carol Backhouse, Christ Church, Lancaster (Church of England)

Rev Alton Bell, Movement for Change and Reconciliation

Fr Peter Hughes SSC, Regional Director of the British Region of the Society of St Columban

Community Church Harlesden

Carolyn Lawrence, Vice President of the Methodist Conference

The Rt Rev Dr Martin Fair, Moderator of the General Assembly, The Church of Scotland

Rev Clare Downing and Mr Peter Pay, Moderators of General Assembly, United Reformed Church

RC Southwark archdiocese

National Board of Catholic Women

Fr Habte Ukbay, JPIC Southwark

Jo Watters, Father Hudson’s Care based in the Archdiocese of Birmingham

Derby City of sanctuary network, Chaplain for Justice and Peace Derby Cathedral

Dean Pallant, Lt Colonel, The Salvation Army

Dr Edie Friedman, Executive Director, The Jewish Council for Racial Equality (JCORE)

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, The Ark Synagogue

Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi

Rabbi Sybil Sheridan – Executive Director, Lyons Learning Project

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild

Rabbi Kath Vardi

Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Edgware & Hendon Reform Synagogue

Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts, Associate Lecturer, Dept of Music, Newcastle University and Honorary Research Associate, Dept of Anthropology, Durham University

Rabbi Daniel Lichman

Clifton Road interfaith committee

Bishops Letter of Concern to Home Secretary on the government’s New Plan for Immigration

Bishop Paul McAleenan at the memorial to migrants at Dover in 2020

Source: CBCEW

Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, and Bishop William Nolan, Chair of the Scottish Bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace, have written to the Home Secretary about the government’s New Plan for Immigration.

The Bishops echo concerns expressed by Catholic charities including the Jesuit Refugee Service and the Santa Marta Group in their responses to the government consultation. In particular they express strong opposition to the proposed creation of a two-tier asylum system and warn that plans for tougher border security could drive more people into the hands of traffickers.

They also call for clear resettlement targets and proper support for civil society groups welcoming refugees through community sponsorship.

Drawing on Pope Francis’ recent message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, the Bishops end with an appeal that we continue to make room for people who seek safety and a home among us in the UK.

Full Letter

Joint Letter: New Plan for Immigration-070521

Dear Home Secretary,

We write on behalf of the Catholic Church concerning the New Plan for Immigration and the consequent implications for the human dignity of people seeking sanctuary in the UK.

In his message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, released this week, Pope Francis calls on each of us to move ‘towards an ever wider we’, drawing on the deep interconnectedness of humanity and recognising that all refugees and migrants are made in the image of God. He urges us to ‘break down the walls that separate us and build bridges that foster a culture of encounter’.

This year, being the 70th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention, it is especially pertinent to reflect on our history of welcoming, protecting, promoting, and integrating refugees. It is also a time for action to ensure that our asylum system embodies the values Pope Francis speaks of and provides a generous response to those driven from their homes by the many challenges facing our world today, such as poverty, conflict, or the climate emergency.

We cannot ignore our own role in this displacement, particularly through making significant cuts to the aid budget, which are falling upon the world’s poorest people, and our status as one of the largest exporters of arms, which fuel conflicts around the world. As Pope Francis reminds us, all of humanity is interconnected.

Across the UK, Catholic organisations such as Caritas, the Jesuit Refugee Service, St Vincent de Paul Society, and the Santa Marta Group, as well as many smaller groups of volunteers, are supporting our refugee sisters and brothers. They speak from a position of experience, drawing on their daily encounters. We share the concerns they have expressed about the New Plan for Immigration and encourage you to thoroughly consider submissions they have made to the accompanying consultation.

In particular we would like to draw your attention to three areas:

The creation of a two-tier asylum system

Creating arbitrary divisions based on people’s method of entry will have profound implications for those who need our support most. We know that many families and individuals have no choice in the route that they take and to penalise them on this basis dangerously undermines the principle of asylum. We oppose any move to treat differently those forced to risk their lives or make difficult journeys to reach safety and those who are selected for organised resettlement routes.

Community Sponsorship and resettlement

Pope Francis has called on Catholic communities to host refugee families and in response
parishes across the UK have been at the forefront of welcoming people through Community
Sponsorship. We are encouraged by the government’s commitment to a new UK
Resettlement Scheme and ensuring that more people can enter through the Community
Sponsorship route. However, we also recognise that the impact will be limited without
ambitious targets or proper support for civil society groups and urge you to incorporate
these into resettlement policy as it is developed.

Human trafficking

There are many shortcomings in our society’s response the evils of human trafficking, not
least in identifying victims, providing them with the right support, and prosecuting those
responsible for exploitation. However, these will not be solved by tougher border security
and a less generous asylum system, measures which risk driving more people into the hands
of criminals. We believe in tackling trafficking through combining a strong response to
organised crime, with the opening of more safe and legal routes to sanctuary, while
ensuring that victims are never criminalised.

How we respond to those in need has profound implications for our society. We must keep
in mind that welcoming successive generations of refugees has greatly enriched our
communities. It is therefore imperative that we continue to make room for people who seek
safety and a home among us in the UK.

With our prayers and best wishes.

Yours Sincerely,

Bishop Paul McAleenan
Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster, Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees,
Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Bishop William Nolan
Bishop of Galloway, Commission for Justice and Peace, Catholic Bishops’
Conference of Scotland.

Annual Mass for Migrants, Saturday 1st May 2021 11.20am for 11.30am

Church of St William of York, Forest Hill, 4 Brockley Park, Greater, Forest Hill, London SE23 1PS

Bishop Paul McAleenan is the celebrant. 

This year’s Migrants Mass will be hosted by the Archdiocese of Southwark at St William of York Catholic Church, Lewisham. Owing to coronavirus restrictions, sadly only a small number of invited guests will be able to attend in person but the Mass will be live-streamed online so that all can participate from their homes.

The Mass is an annual celebration of the contribution made in the UK by all our migrant communities, held jointly by the Dioceses of Brentwood, Southwark and Westminster, with support from London Citizens.

https://actionnetwork.org/events/migrants-mass

There will be short video greetings screened from 11.20am before the start of the Mass at 11.30am. 

Westminster Justice and Peace Commission statement on the Jesuit Refugee Service report – Being Human in the Asylum System

By Barbara Kentish, Lead Commission Member for Migrants and Refugees

Being Human in the Asylum System

Westminster Justice and Peace welcomes with true Easter joy and relief the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) report on welcoming refugees, Being Human in the Asylum System.  Those who work for asylum justice, refugee rights and related issues, and indeed any people of good will, were devastated at the end of March to read of Home Secretary Priti Patel’s regressive proposals to change the current system, which so  infamously lacks compassion or justice. 

JRS have issued a ringing mandate to inspire us to new efforts of resistance to this inhumanity. 

The report provides an excellent overview of current policy and practice, the relevant principles of Catholic Social Teaching, as well as harrowing and shocking stories of refugees’ own experience. Much more crucially, it outlines the vision and policies needed for a humane approach to tackling asylum, which brings a ray of light and hope, just as many feel crushed and despairing in the face of the new Government proposals. 

Those already involved in welcome and outreach are all too aware of the many human rights abuses experienced by those seeking asylum in the UK and the New Plan for Immigration, announced with fanfare on March 24th by the Home Secretary, had us wringing our hands in despair.   

As  the JRS report summarises, current government praxis employs policies including the fostering of a culture of disbelief towards migrants’ stories, the impersonal and unaccountable dealings with cases, which frequently change hands and sometimes disappear, the notorious indefinite detention system, destitution, and of course the hostile environment policy, most recently evidenced in the use of insanitary and crowded disused barracks for housing newly arrived asylum seekers.  

Charity workers and volunteers constantly strive to remember the idealism of the 1951 Convention on Refugees, and the European Convention on Human Rights, to both of which the UK is  a signatory.     Catholics are encouraged by Pope Francis’s clear and frequent statements on the imperative to welcome refugees as brothers and sisters.   The New Plan for Immigration takes into account neither our international nor humanitarian obligations.  Instead its aims are defensive, with ‘fairness’, efficacy, deterrence of so-called illegal entry, and removal of those here ‘illegally’. 

The Catholic Bishops of England and Wales responded quickly to these narrow and harsh plans.  On March 30th, Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees, who has spoken out many times on the inhuman treatment of migrants on the French UK borders, issued a statement calling for a just approach to asylum that has ‘people and families at its centre’ and recognises the ‘diverse and complex factors that shape the journeys of refugees.’  Echoing Pope Francis’ call for us to welcome, promote, protect, and integrate refugees, Bishop Paul stated: ‘The assistance that we provide to our sisters and brothers fleeing war, poverty, or persecution is a fundamental test of our society.’

Fast-forward to mid-April, and the JRS report which was in preparation some time before the Government’s announcement, is a welcome arrival.  The authors, led by Dr Sophie Cartwright, JRS UK Senior Policy Officer, and including Dr Anna Rowlands,  Professor of Catholic Social Thought & Practice at Durham University, state:

‘This report is not just a reactive publication, responding to new rapidly shifting proposals, but has been produced to aid a richer, longer term discussion of what a good asylum system might look like, and we hope will encourage the reader to inhabit a longer frame of vision.’

And there is no better organisation to formulate this new vision, since the Jesuit Refugee Service has worked with asylum seekers for many years.  The authors state:

‘This report takes experiences of people seeking asylum in the UK over the past 20+ years, building recommendations for what an asylum process which puts protection of refugees at the centre and promotes human dignity could look like.’

The 16 crystal-clear recommendations include,  ‘A focus on protection, respect for human dignity, and rejection of the culture of refusal and disbelief, must be reflected in ministerial planning, caseworker training and Home Office policy documents across different areas of the asylum system,’ and goes on to call for the end of detention, especially indefinite detention, for the right of asylum seekers to work, for dignified living conditions during the wait for claims to be heard, for in-country appeals to be heard, and for the hostile environment policy to be abandoned.  In short, for abuses to end and for asylum seekers to be accorded dignity, compassion and justice.  

One could only have wished for a word or two about the need for safe and legal routes to the UK, so that many do not feel obliged to use dangerous transport. But that is certainly implied in this vision.

Westminster Justice and Peace highly commends this short and hard-hitting report, bursting with the lived experience of asylum seekers, and pulling no punches as to what needs to happen.  The Government consultation on its new Sovereign Borders Bill ends on May 6th and if we do not ask for these recommendations to be considered and adopted we will certainly have an even more cruel asylum regime than that which is currently in place. 

We recommend reading the report and contacting any legislators who will listen. 

Jesuit Refugee Service – Download the Report

An Evening in Support of Refugees – 25th March 2021, 6pm

ondon Churches Refugee Fund and Church Times present an evening in support of refugees. With keynote speaker Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, actor Alfred Enoch, and representatives from LCRF and Migrants Organise.

Register below for a free ticket. The event will be broadcast live online on Thursday 25 March.

Speakers

Fr Timothy Radcliffe OP, keynote speaker
Dominican friar, writer & former Master of the Order of Preachers

Zrinka Bralo
CEO Migrants Organise (organising with refugees for power, dignity & justice)

Revd Dr Andrew Prasad
Moderator Thames North Synod URC; former Executive Secretary Council for World Mission; LCRF Patron

Alfred Enoch
Actor (Harry Potter, Red, How To Get Away With Murder) & Patron of London Churches Refugee Fund

Revd Chris Brice
Chair of London Churches Refugee Fund

Bishop calls for ‘shifting of mindset’ after migrant family drowns in Channel

From: Catholic Herald Staff Reporter

Bishop calls for 'shifting of mindset' after migrant family drowns in Channel

On Wednesday, Bishop Paul McAleenan lamented the deaths of four family members who drowned trying to make their way across the English Channel.

Rasoul Iran-Nejad and Shiva Mohammad Panahi, both aged 35, died alongside their children Anita, aged 9, and Armin, aged 6, as they made their way from France to the UK on Tuesday.

The Kurdish-Iranian family’s 15-month-old baby, Artin, has yet to be found, whilst fifteen other migrants on the boat were rescued and taken to hospital.

Bishop McAleenan, auxiliary bishop of Westminster, said we should be “united” in our response to the tragedy:

“All who value human life, whatever their position on migrants and refugees, will be united in sorrow following yesterday’s tragedy in the Channel,” he said in a statement.

“Immediate thoughts should be with the adults and children who died, their families wherever they are in the world, and their companions who will remember forever what they witnessed. It is hoped that no one will want to make a mere political point because of the incident.”

McAleenan, Chair of the Office for Migration Policy, said that such unity is needed to respond politically to the challenge of unsafe migrant crossings:

“What is truly needed is a meeting of minds. That will require a shifting of mindset on the part of those who set the rules, and the pursuit of heartless profiteers to ensure that no one feels compelled or encouraged to risk their life, or that of their children, in a dangerous craft on the open sea.”

In a statement on Tuesday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said his thoughts were with the victims and he promised to tackle the smugglers responsible for the crossings.

“My thoughts are with the loved ones of those who tragically lost their lives in the Channel today. We have offered the French authorities every support as they investigate this terrible incident and will do all we can to crack down on the ruthless criminal gangs who prey on vulnerable people by facilitating these dangerous journeys.”

Back in July, Bishop McAleenan responded critically to Britain and France’s joint Declaration of Intent to establish an Operational Research Unit that would target the criminal gang networks behind migrant smuggling.

The bishop said that the two countries should prioritise trying to “eradicate the underlying reasons why these same people are willing to risk their lives in the open sea.”

“I would like to see the details of the agreement between the UK and France, that would indicate how they understand and perceive what is taking place in the English Channel,” he continued.

“Surely two countries which pride themselves on being progressive and enlightened will see that the welfare of those who are destitute is vital. Protection of people should be foremost in their thinking.”

Featured Image: Bishop Paul McAleenan, centre, meets charity workers and volunteers helping refugees in Dover, England, Sept. 15, 2020. Credit: Mazur/cbcew.org.uk.

Delivering the petition on human rights on the French-UK borders

By Barbara Kentish, Westminster Justice & Peace Commission Lead on Refugees and Migrants

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 120195500_10220219789258568_3826096059446201821_n-2.jpg
Delivering letter at the French Embassy

Five of us, obeying government guidelines on numbers, delivered our letter and petition as promised, to the French Embassy this morning. Pat Gaffney from Pax Christi, Fr Dominic Robinson SJ from Justice and Peace, Brother Johannes from London Catholic Worker, Fr Joe Ryan from West Green Tottenham parish and myself took the hundreds of signatures and our letter asking for French-British collaboration for a humanitarian outcome to the small-boat Channel crossings. We succeeded in handing it over to officials at the French Embassy in leafy Knightsbridge and had a pleasant walk across the park to the Home Office in Marsham Street. Here we found a very closed door. The head security officer told us, after he had investigated, that delivering petitions could only be done if accompanied by a solicitor! We had emailed earlier in the week, with copy of our letter, but this was not enough: you need your solicitor to go along too, so after a friendly chat with the security man, we beat a retreat. Rather like the rules on COVID 19, the UK Home Office can be extremely unpredictable. We will make an appointment of course, but this could be a long wait!

Turned back from the Home Office

There is still time to sign the petition until we get an appointment with Ms Priti Patel’s elusive staff!

Meanwhile, our friends on the other side of the Channel in Calais demonstrate for human rights in their city today (Saturday, 26 September.) We wish them well, and pray that they will be heard as they claim not only rights for migrants, but also for themselves, so they don’t pick up the infections.

Sign the petition here: www.change.org/p/demand-that-the-french-and-uk-governments-recognise-people-s-human-rights-and-safe-routes-to-asylum

Bishop MacAleenan prays at Dover Migrants Memorial

Report from Independent Catholic News

Bishop Paul McAleenan visited Dover on Tuesday to meet with some of those working to help people who have arrived there to claim asylum. The gathering was organised by Seeking Sanctuary and hosted by the parish priest, Fr Jeff Cridland.

A TV team preparing for a coming episode of ‘Songs of Praise’ was also in Dover on the same day. Deb Barry posted the following reflection on the Care4Humanity’ Facebook page.

Bishop Paul is the Catholic bishop who leads on migration issues for fellow bishops in England and Wales wanted to meet with the organisations working with refugees. Care4humanity was asked to participate in the discussion groups, along with other local faith and community leaders, representatives from the Anglican diocese of Canterbruy, Seeking Sanctuary, KRAN and Samphire (organisations supporting refugees in Kent).

Key messages that everyone agreed on today included the need to remember that each of these refugees is an individual, they have an identity and their own unique story. Youth can play a really instrumental role in humanitarian work and advocacy, they are our future leaders and can be mobilized now to help refugees in so many ways and be a real example of peace and acceptance. Refugee work continues to be a global issue and we need to work across countries, faiths, governments, civil society and ethnicity, only as we come together in peace and a desire to truly help each other, can we find lasting solutions.

At the conclusion of the meetings, we then went down to Dover promenade where we met with the BBC Songs of Praise crew. We stood by the memorials to those who had lost their lives while making that crossing from France to the UK in order to seek sanctuary. The Bishop then said a prayer at the memorial and reminded all of us of the importance of each of these people’s lives. He prayed that people would be able to understand and assist those who have journeyed for a new and better life. He also prayed for all those who help, the policy makers and the opinion formers.

It was lovely to be able to stand together today, technology has allowed us to still operate during this time, but seeing so many people social distancing and standing in a circle today was a great strength.

We are excited at Care4Humanity to continue to work with so many different groups of people and stand together in peace to bring change.

The programme that includes the material filmed in Dover is scheduled to be aired on Songs of Praise on 11th October 2020 in the UK

Bishop McAleenan gave us this short reflection and prayer.

Listen

Soundcloud

Reflection

My name’s Bishop Paul McAleenan and I’m responsible for migrants and refugees for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales.

Yesterday was 15 September, the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows – Mary who stood beneath the Cross as her son was dying. The Cross of Jesus and Our Lady of Sorrows always go together.

Here in Dover, it has been most edifying to meet those who, like Our Blessed Lady, have thrown in their lot with the refugees and are willing to support them, speak on their behalf and advocate for their cause.

On this beautiful afternoon, I met so many people who spoke movingly about their work and their intention to continue to spread the message that it’s so necessary for us to support migrants and refugees. Through their work, meeting with refugees, they have discovered the truth – that they are God’s children. We are all brothers and sisters in Jesus and we support them.

Let us pray.

We pray for volunteers who work for refugees here in the Dover area and in northern France, and for those who go to the rescue of those in danger.

We pray for policy-makers and opinion-formers.

May they provide a system whereby no-one needs to risk their lives in the quest for safety and freedom.

This prayer we make through Christ Our Lord who stretched out His hand to Peter on the Sea of Galilee and gives us the will to do likewise on the English coast.

Amen.

I thank you for joining me in this reflection and I ask you to continue to pray for migrants and refugees – and to remind you that on 27 September it’s the World Day of Prayer for Migrants and Refugees.

Text from Catholic Bishop’s Conference of England and Wales