Archive for September, 2015

Please look after this migrant: 18 September

September 18, 2015

In June I went to America for a cousin’s wedding. On the way I watched the film ‘Paddington.’ It’s brilliant. After a natural disaster, the young bear is sent to Britain because his family know that British people are kind and welcoming. He stands alone on a London station. ‘Please look after this bear.’ One family take him in. Then adventures begin!

In America I met the bride’s grandmother, Renate. After years of Nazi persecution she was sent to Britain because her family knew that British people are kind and welcoming. She arrived at Liverpool St station. All the others on her train were collected first. She alone was left – until a woman, who had taught briefly in her home town, came to collect her. Renate’s life began again. She made a valuable contribution to war administration. She married and her husband took her to Canada, then America.

In my parish of Burton Joyce near Nottingham I have heard about the war evacuees. Children from the cities were welcomed here, given homes, given a community. There were many of them and their ways were often different; it was not easy for the locals. People here made sacrifices so children in danger were safe here.

Once again we need, as a nation and as a community to welcome refugees.

We can welcome refugees firstly as guests. Guests live with us, work with us, but they are not members of our national family. Many may, after a while, be able to return home. Others may need in time to become part of our national family. We then teach them our ways, language, history. When they show themselves serious about this, they become fellow citizens.

We also need to cooperate with other nations. We share the responsibility with the rest of Europe. We need also to share with the Commonwealth. Maybe some refugees will be better in Malaysia or Uganda and we can help finance this?

Can this country once again be a place where children, families, are safe again and can begin a new life? Such a welcome would not be easy, but adventures would begin!

Charities helping refugees:

Refugee Council assisting refugees in the UK

Christian Aid assisting refugees in the Middle East and Europe

Barnabas Fund resettling Christian refugees, initially in Poland

Phoenix Community caring for Unaccompanied Minors in the UK

Home for Good arranging foster placements for unaccompanied minors in the UK

Citizens UK arranging for landlords to register to house refugees

Roger Harper