Church Response For Refugees is a movement with the aim of inspiring and equipping churches and Christian groups across the UK to actively welcome and support refugees. We were launched in autumn 2015 by a coalition of church and political leaders who were concerned about the plight of refugees arriving in the UK and sought to find solutions for the UK churches to effectively harness our voices, influence and resources to act together for refugees. Our work is currently focussed on three areas: i) Encouraging and training churches to ‘adopt’ a refugee family through the UK Government’s Community Sponsorship Scheme ii) Referring churches interested in helping refugees through other means to Christian organisations that offer practical solutions for refugees, like hosting English lessons and delivering a welcome box of gifts to refugees, and iii) Resourcing Christians to engage their communities with a positive narrative about refugees.
We recently had the privilege of attending the Refugee Highway Partnership Roundtable conference in Budapest. We really treasured the opportunities to meet fellow like-minded Christians leaders working in continental contexts. We are hopeful that some of the relationships started at the conference will flourish into international partnership that will enable UK and continental churches to share lessons and resources with each others. In particular, churches in our movement seem particularly excited about getting on board with RHP’s World Refugee Sunday initiative. Our prayer is for more UK churches to consider practical ways to welcome refugees through reflection and refugee-focussed teaching on World Refugee Sunday.
Our next major national event is Engaging Young Refugees: An equipping day for youth workers on Wednesday, 23rd of March. As the name suggests, it is a day of training for those already working with young people to meet the particular needs of young refugees and unaccompanied minors, such as trauma care, mental health issues, resettlement, education and employment. Please visit http://engagingyoungrefugees.eventbrite.co.uk to find out more. We would really appreciate your prayerful support for us to plan and deliver this conference well, so that youth workers across the UK would go away with a vision and a mission to engage young refugees.