Seeing Refugees as God Sees Them
We believe that Christians of all backgrounds and denominations share a common vision for God’s love, and therefore have a responsibility to aid refugees in any way we can. God has commanded us over and over again to love thy neighbour, to empower the powerless, to feed the hungry. Deuteronomy 10:19 says, “and you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt,” Matthew 25:35 says “for I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,” and just recently Pope Francis said “hearts must not be closed to refugees.” In light of the 13 million Syrians who have fled their country in search of safety, that self-sacrificial and generous love shown to us in the Bible should extend specifically to the current refugee crisis.
Vision in Action: Community Sponsorship
In September 2015, the UK Government announced that it will be resettling 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK by 2020. In July 2016, the Home Secretary and the Archbishop of Canterbury launched an exciting new programme called Community Sponsorship to enable civic groups to directly support a newly resettled Syrian refugee family by finding accommodation, arranging English tuition, helping them integrate into the local community, and supporting them towards employment and self-sufficiency.
The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby became the UK’s first community sponsor when he welcomed a refugee family into Lambeth Palace in 2016. The Catholic Diocese of Salford became the UK’s second community sponsor when they resettled a Syrian family in November 2016. This was followed by the Salvation Army resettling a third family in South London in March 2017. A local organization that we have been working with, Worthing 4 Refugees, recently announced that their application had been approved. They are expecting their family in coming weeks.
Community Sponsorship presents an enormous opportunity for Christians to be Good Samaritans to refugees.
What We Do
While sponsoring a refugee family can be hugely rewarding experience, the process to becoming a sponsor can seem daunting at first. Our team is dedicated to helping current and potential sponsors by:
- Providing information and assistance to help them complete their sponsorship application to the Home Office.
- Hosting events, exhibitions, and training days with specialist agencies and charities to engage local communities.
- Building connections with between sponsors, enabling them to learn from each others experience.
20:20 Challenge: Put God’s Vision Into Action
This year, on World Refugee Day – 20th of June – we need your help in bringing a real and lasting difference to Syrian refugee families. We are running a campaign called the 20:20 Challenge, and getting involved could not be easier.
We would love you to 1) Do 20 of something 2) Post it on social media using #2020Challenge 3) Make a monthly contribution of £20 or more to Church Response For Refugees, and 4) Nominate one or more of your friends to take on the challenge!
Here are some of our top suggestions as to what you can do with the number 20. Choose one or come up with one yourself (be as creative as you want!):
- Swim 20 lengths of a pool
- Bake 20 cupcakes
- Fast for 20 hours
- Cycle 20 miles
- Do 20 push ups
- Take 20 minutes in your lunch break to pray for refugees
- Share our message about refugees and community sponsorship to 20 people
Our work with community sponsors is only possible through the generous giving of individuals who are concerned about the plight of refugees coming into the UK and the ensuing response from churches.
Your monthly contribution will enable us to spread the word about sponsorship to all corners of the UK, guide groups to become community sponsors, and host bespoke events to meet local needs.
If you are unable to make a monthly contribution at this point, we would also very much appreciate a one off donation of £20 or more.
See what people are doing for the challenge.