Letter: Honour Britain’s tradition of saving child refugees

The following letter appeared in The Sunday Times on 2nd September 2018. Signatories included two Lords Spiritual, the Bishops of Durham and Southwark, and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Williams of Oystermouth:

Honour Britain’s tradition of saving child refugees

Jewish, Muslim and Christian leaders call on the government to offer sanctuary

September 2 2018

Three years ago today Alan Kurdi, a three-year-old Kurdish refugee, drowned because he had no safe route to sanctuary in Europe. The lives of more than 9,000 people fleeing war and persecution have been lost in the Mediterranean since that little boy’s death.

This autumn Britain will mark a more hopeful anniversary. Eighty years ago the Kindertransport was launched, a rescue operation that saved 10,000 Jewish and other refugee children from Nazi persecution.

Now it is our turn to honour that legacy by helping more child refugees to find safety here. On this anniversary we call on the government to match the efforts of the Kindertransport and establish a lasting route to protection in the UK for 10,000 child refugees in future years.


Lord Dr Rowan Williams, Baron Williams of Oystermouth, former Archbishop of Canterbury

Harun Rashid Khan, Secretary General, Muslim Council of Britain

Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, Senior Rabbi to Reform Judaism

Rabbi Danny Rich, Senior Rabbi & Chief Executive, Liberal Judaism

Imam Fuad Abdou, Director And Imam, Al-Ansar Islamic Education Centre

Commissioner Anthony Cotterill, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army UK with Ireland

Revd Lynn Green, General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain

Rabbi Charley Baginsky, South Bucks Jewish Community

Rabbi Rebecca Birk, The Finchley Progressive Synagogue

Cantor Rebecca Blumenfeld, Oxford Masorti Group

Rabbi Dr Barbara Borts, Darlington Hebrew Congregation

Rt Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Durham

Rabbi Douglas Charing, Director, Jewish Education Bureau (Leeds)

Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark

Rt Revd Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon

Rev David Downing, Maidenhead and Marlow United Reformed Churches

Rabbi Warren Elf, Faith Network for Manchester

Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop of Loughborough

Rabbi Paul Freedman, Senior Rabbi, Radlett Reform Synagogue

Rabbi Naomi Goldman, Kol Chai Hatch End Reform Jewish Community

Rabbi Aaron Goldstein, Chair, Conference of Liberal Rabbis and Cantors

Revd Jeremy Harris, Vicar of All Saints, Boyne Hill, Maidenhead

Rt Revd David Hamid, Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of Europe

Rt Revd Peter Hill, Bishop of Barking

Rabbi Dr Michael Hilton, Reform Judaism

Rabbi Harry Jacobi MBE, Vice President of Liberal Judaism

Rabbi Dr Margaret Jacobi, Birmingham Progressive Synagogue

Rabbi Richard Jacobi, East London and Essex Liberal Synagogue

Rabbi Oliver Spike Joseph, New North London Synagogue and Havurah

Rt Revd Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney

Rabbi Baroness Neuberger DBE

Rt Revd Dr John Perumbalath, Bishop of Bradwell

Rabbi Sylvia Rothschild, Reform Judaism

Rabbi Fabian Sborovsky, Rabbi of Menorah Synagogue, Manchester

Rabbi Sybil Sheridan, West London Synagogue

Abdurahman Syed, Chief Executive Officer, Almanaar Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre Trust

Rabbi Dr Jackie Tabick, Reform Judaism

Rabbi Roni Tabick, Rabbi of Stoke Newington Shul

Rt Revd Dr David Walker, Bishop of Manchester

Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover

Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism

Rabbi Debbie Young-Somers, Community Educator, Reform Judaism