And you are to love the stranger, for you were once strangers’ Deut 10:19
As large scale conflict and economic destitution pushes thousands of people to travel perilously to find refuge, Archbishop Richard Clarke and Archbishop Michael Jackson call on members of the Church of Ireland to respond as an integral action of Christian faith and welcome.
The Church’s response is three-fold. We invite parishes and individuals to participate in as many ways as they deem able. We recognise the local responses many individuals and parishes have already undertaken and thank people for their compassion and action.
Pray for the people who are displaced and traumatised, that they receive peace, security and welcome. Pray for all those who have lost loved ones in the conflict or through drowning in the Mediterranean. Pray for empathy and wisdom for the European Governments as they make decisions on how to respond to the crisis.
Engage with political representatives in order to encourage Governments to show courage and leadership in their responsibilities to refugees and to expand provision of refuge and re-settlement to people who are fleeing. You can do this by writing to or seeking to meet with your local TD or MP. You could also join with one of the campaigns organised by charities and agencies working actively in these fields.
Hold a special or a retiring collection on Sunday 13th and Sunday 20th September to respond to the needs of refugees fleeing Syria and Iraq both at their own borders and at European borders. These funds can be sent through Bishops’ Appeal and will be dispersed to agencies such as Christian Aid who are responding directly to the need of 12.2 million people in Syria, 4 million refugees in neighbouring Iraq and Lebanon as well as directing funds to NGOs responding to the need in EU countries.
For more information contact Lydia Monds, Education Advisor, Bishops’ Appeal: firstname.lastname@example.org