The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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September 2017

Welcoming the Stranger

Sheena Ginning and Jeremy Fletcher

We have all seen the pictures and read the stories about the awful plight of refugees, particularly in Syria.  Many of us have felt helpless to do anything to support them.

We have an opportunity to do something positive. Under the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme, set up by the UK government, churches and charitable organisations can apply to become Community Sponsors and sponsor a refugee family to come to the UK.  The scheme aims to help those refugees in greatest need, including people requiring urgent medical attention, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk. 

The PCC voted in its July meeting to apply to become a community sponsor and a core group to handle the application has been set up.

There is much that we need to do to satisfy both Camden Council and the Home Office that we can and should be Community Sponsors. As with any kind of service, sponsoring a refugee family requires the church community to be committed in prayer and practice and, as we go through the application process all your prayers will be needed

Practical help is also required and, as the application progresses, we will let you know what we need - either materially, or asking for your time, or using your skills and experience.

Right now we need two things.  First, we are looking for somewhere relatively close by where the family can live.  The family will be entitled to Housing Benefit.  Does anyone know of a landlord who would be willing to let their property to our refugee family for at least two years?

The other thing we need to do is to raise the money to support the family as they adjust to life in the UK.  A number of people have already given generously but more is needed.  To raise money and to celebrate the start of this project we are having a Launch Event on Friday 13th October at 6.00pm. PLEASE PUT THIS DATE AND TIME IN YOUR DIARY. More details will follow next month.

If you want to know more, or to donate to the project, or know of a suitable house please contact me  vicar@hampsteadparishchurch.org.uk

This is an exciting opportunity for us to show our mission in action and to help vulnerable people who have lost their homes and in many cases members of their family in a long running war. Please help us to make hope a reality

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