How Can We Help?
The recent events in Afghanistan have highlighted what was already a serious issue. How well can we welcome those who served our services, diplomats, businesses and charities working in Afghanistan over the past 20 years who no longer felt safe or welcome in their home country?
The ARAP (Afghanistan Relocations and Assistance Policy) launched on April 1st 2021 has now had added to it the Afghan Citizens’ Resettlement Scheme. Huge numbers have been brought out of Afghanistan in a very short space of time. Over the coming months, it is anticipated many more will arrive through other routes. The challenge for the whole nation is to welcome these families and help them build new lives here in the United Kingdom.
Alongside this is the reality that for the past few years Afghan citizens have been travelling here seeking asylum. There are thousands already stuck in the asylum system awaiting a response to their claim. How might their claims now be processed more rapidly?
God’s call on God’s people has always been to welcome the stranger and help provide for them. So here is a fresh opportunity to live out this calling. It has to be very practical; hence this toolkit. It is not a quick short term response that is most needed but a willingness to befriend families and support them for the long haul. It is also a call to stand up for justice and advocate for the most vulnerable.
This pack helps guides us through how we can do this well. Let us pray for God’s wisdom, and the compassion of Jesus to fill us. Then in the power of the Holy Spirit let us pray and act.
Rt Revd Paul Butler, Lead Bishop for Refugees and Asylum
Card donations to the Diocese of Chelmsford Afghan refugee appeal may be made via our Refugee Welcome Hub Church, St Mary’s Ilford here.
Cheques made payable to ‘St Mary’s Ilford PCC’ and marked on the back with ‘Afghan Refugee Appeal’ can be sent to: Afghan Refugee Appeal, Parish Office, 26 South Park Road, Ilford, IG1 1SS
Bank transfers may be made to the following account:
St Mary’s, Ilford PCC
Account number: 65865264
Sort Code: 08-92-99
All funds will be deposited with the Diocese of Chelmsford and used by the Refugee Engagement Team to support Afghan refugees in East London and Essex.
For the latest advice about how to make practical donations, please click here.
Our team are in regular contact with donation points and request items needed as and when required. Unfortunately, we cannot collect donations.
OFFERS OF ROOMS IN HOMES
If you would like to offer temporary accommodation in your home to a refugee, please register your interest with our partners at Refugees at Home, here.
OFFERS OF HOUSES AND FLATS
If you would consider making a house or flat available for rent at Local Housing Authority rate to an Afghan family, please contact the Essex County Council Resettlement Program Manager, Chris White at Essex County Council (if the property is in Essex) with details.
If you would like to volunteer to assist Afghan refugees, then please contact us here and we will pass your details on to the relevant people within our Diocese. From there, a member of the team from Essex Integration (our refugee agency) will be in touch with you shortly.
For more information about the Afghanistan Crisis, further information about how to help and prayers, please check out the Church OF England Afghans Refugees page.