Bishops show support for Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill

The following letter, in support of Baroness Hamwee’s Refugees (Family Reunion) Bill signed by eight bishops, seven of whom are Lords Spiritual, appeared in The Times newspaper on 15th December 2017.

REFUGEE REFORM BILL

Sir, Britain is one of the few countries in Europe that does not allow refugee children who arrive alone in the UK to bring a parent here. This is the most glaring example of overly restrictive rules that deny many refugees the chance to live with their family. Today Baroness Hamwee will sponsor the Refugee Families Reunion Bill in the House of Lords, which would allow a wider range of family members to be reunited with refugees living in the UK.

As bishops who work closely with our communities, we support the aims of this bill. We understand how families can help us to heal, and can support us through turbulent times. We have a moral duty to help those who do not have the support of family when they need it most.

The Right Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham; the Right Rev John Inge, Bishop of Worcester; the Right Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich; the Right Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Leeds; the Right Rev Christopher Cocksworth, Bishop of Coventry; the Right Rev Rachel Treweek, Bishop of Gloucester; the Right Rev Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark; the Right Rev Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon