Anglicans from across the UK contributed to an online meeting hosted by Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees and the Anglican Alliance earlier today (3 July 2017).
The online meeting which was organised from Edinburgh included presentations on how Anglican and Episcopalian churches and agencies in the UK are working with refugees.
You can listen to an audio recording of the meeting, which lasted about 1 hour, here:
The online meeting was arranged by Isobel Owen, Programme Officer with the Anglican Alliance and supported by Scottish Faiths Action for Refugees Co-ordinator, David Bradwell.
Contributing to the discussion were the Revd Joan Lyon (St Ninian’s Aberdeen, Scottish Episcopal Church), the Revd Sally Smith (Hanley Team Ministry, Diocese of Lichfield, Church of England) and Revd Aled Edwards (a clergyman in the Church in Wales and Chief Executive of Cytûn – Church Together in Wales).
Isobel said: “Hearing from Anglican and Episcopalian speakers from Scotland, England and Wales gave us the opportunity to learn from churches in different contexts and to hear how they are mobilising their assets and creativity to enable the integration of refugees in their communities, and how churches are being mutually enriched by ‘welcoming the stranger’. We also heard how churches are being entrepreneurial about building partnerships and trust with local authorities and other faiths to respond to the most vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers in their communities.”
Joining the call and asking questions included staff from the Church of England, Christian Aid, the Mothers’ Union and Churches Together in Britain and Ireland.
The purpose of the web meeting was to share learning and best practice around integration, partnership and sanctuary as well as investigating different approaches, and offering encouragement to those responding to the challenges of working in this area. Using video conferencing technology we were able to connect with people in Belfast, Aberdeen, Stoke-on-Trent, Edinburgh, Abergavenny and London.
Participants discussed the UK Government’s resettlement programme for Syrian refugees, the work of churches with asylum seekers facing destitution and detention, work to support integration and sharing the similarities and differences facing Anglican congregations and projects in the different nations of the United Kingdom.