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. Continue reading “Letter: Honour Britain’s tradition of saving child refugees”
On 23rd July 2018, the Bishop of Coventry, the Rt Revd Christopher Cocksworth, received a written answer to a question on refugee resettlement:
The Bishop of Coventry: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of why the UN High Commissioner for Refugees has referred so few Christians, Yazidis and other Syrian religious minorities for resettlement in the UK; whether any members of those minorities were resettled in the UK in the first quarter of 2018; and if not, why not. Continue reading “Bishop of Coventry asks why few Christians, Yazidis and Syrian religious minorities have been resettled in UK”
On 2nd July 2018 Baroness Evans of Bowes Park repeated a Statement on the European Council that had been made by the Prime Minister earlier that day in the House of Commons. The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Dr Peter Forster, asked a question about regional disembarkation platforms, which are proposed centres for dealing with migrants and refugees seeking to enter the EU:
The Bishop of Chester: Can the noble Baroness tell the House more about the proposed regional disembarkation platforms? How would they operate and where would they be likely to be established? Continue reading “Bishop of Chester asks government about EU plans for managing migrants and refugees”
On 7th June 2018 Lord Scriven led a debate in the House of Lords on the motion ‘that this House takes note of the report of the Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, An Inspection of the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.’ The Bishop of Carlisle, Rt Revd James Newcome, spoke in the debate:
The Lord Bishop of Carlisle: My Lords, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Scriven, for securing this debate. I also extend my thanks to the inspectors for their helpful report. While I am about it, I thank the noble Lord, Lord Ramsbotham, for his kind words.
Most of all, I thank all those who have contributed to the good aspects of the vulnerable persons resettlement scheme thus far: Home Office officials, particularly the resettlement, asylum support and integration directorate; local authorities and devolved Administrations; refugee charities, and, not least, faith and community groups who have played their part in offering a very warm welcome. Expanding our resettlement offer from 750 people a year to the number under VPRS has required compassion, courage and not a small degree of competence. Continue reading “Bishop of Carlisle welcomes progress made under Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme”
On the 11th May 2018 the Bishop of Chester, Rt Revd Peter Forster spoke during the Committee Stage debate of the Refugee (Family Reunion) Bill. Bishop Peter intervened during the debate on an amendment from Lord Marlesford to limit the number of family members who can be relocated. The Bishop disagreed with the amendment and believed it was drawn too narrowly. The amendment from Lord Marlesford was withdrawn at the end of the debate and the Bill will proceed to its next stage. The whole debate can be read at the link below.
Continue reading “Bishop of Chester affirms the importance of hospitality and welcome for refugees”
On 2nd May 2018 the Bishop of Durham, Rt Revd Paul Butler, received a written answer to a question on assistance for refugees:
The Lord Bishop of Durham: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what training is being provided to Job Centre Plus staff to assist refugees during the twenty eight day move-on period. Continue reading “Bishop of Durham asks about support for refugees”
On 30th April 2018 the House of Lords considered amendments to the EU (Withdrawal) Bill at its Report Stage. The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, took part in three of the votes: Continue reading “Votes: EU (Withdrawal) Bill”