Churches Together in the Merseyside Region publish guide to welcoming asylum seekers
A ground-breaking document written by the Justice and Peace Commission in conjunction with other church leaders was published in March 2016
The innovative guide 'Welcoming the Stranger' is intended for churches and other groups to help them find a way to respond positively to the refugee crisis. With easy to read sections and important factual information the guide busts myths that have grown up to describe this national and global crisis. Importantly the document offers clear guidance and support to help church communities, and others, offer practical help as they seek to welcome the stranger.
They say all churches and communities can consider
• Helping new arrivals to integrate into local communities
• Donating money to groups and charities who help asylum seekers and refugees
• Donating clothes and goods to these organisations
• Volunteering to develop skills, like teaching English to asylum seekers and refugees
• Helping asylum seekers with transport costs, like buying saver tickets or travel passes
• Campaigning and adding our Christian voices to the local and national picture
• Praying and reflecting, and keeping the issue in the forefront of our minds
• Supporting the City of Sanctuary and Places of Welcome local and national movements
As the authors state they want to "inspire us to `see, judge, and act`, a process, in the Christian tradition, of reading and responding to the signs of the times. We aim to provide the basic information which will allow the reader to inquire further, and judge the matter for themselves, so that we can respond and act as Christians to the plight of asylum seekers and refugees"
The guide was written by the Justice and Peace Commission with support from the Archdiocese of Liverpool, The Diocese of Liverpool and Together Liverpool. It has been published by Churches Together in the Merseyside Region
Churches and others can get printed copies of the document from Steve Atherton at LACE (0151 522 1080 firstname.lastname@example.org) or download from www.liverpoolasyluminfo.org.uk
For interviews contact Stuart Haynes, Director of Communications at the Diocese of Liverpool. 07534 218122
"When Pope Francis reminded us of our duty to respond to the refugee situation he touched our hearts and our consciences. This booklet will help to remove some of the confusion surrounding this complex situation so that we will be better informed. We can then hope to make wise decisions about how to use our resources in the face of this continuing crisis." Archbishop Malcolm McMahon Archdiocese of Liverpool
"The refugee crisis is one of the most urgent facing our region, our nation, our country and our world. As a church we are called and moved to respond to help those in need. We must work together, as together we are most effective. That is why I am happy to support this initiative by Churches Together in the Merseyside Region, to help the local churches to work together to welcome and help a stranger in need." Bishop Paul Bayes Diocese of Liverpool
"As human beings, we recognise that those who arrive seeking refuge in our country, need to be welcomed, supported and helped to integrate within our communities. As Christians, we can be a key catalyst in developing "communities of welcome" by both developing our buildings as places of welcome, but also working with others within our neighbourhoods to provide opportunities for integration and relationship building." Revd. Phil Jump North Western Baptist Regional Minister
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