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 has been published this week.

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.

Bishop Paul said “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.”

Through telling peoples stories and giving straightforward information and places to go to this is a digestible and usable guide to those overwhelmed by the current crisis. The authors call for action.

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”

Churches and others can get printed copies of the document from Interfaith Advisor Nadine Daniel at St James House nadine.daniel@liverpool.anglican.org or view online at www.liverpoolasyluminfo.org.uk