With the General Election just around the corner, the situation facing refugees may have slipped off the news agenda, but within the Diocese, much work is still be facilitated through our Refugee Officer Domenica Pecoraro, to ensure that our commitment to refugees and migrants continues.
The Refugee page on the Diocesan website is regularly updated with reports, articles and other useful information about refugees and the issues they face.
These include the reflections of Svenja Powell – lead on refugee matters for Churches Together in Canterbury – on her recent visit to Calais and Dunkirk.
“Our visit confirmed that our help is still much needed…It has revealed to us some shocking details during our conversations with the young people and those working with them. It is quite surreal to think this place is so close to home!
“There are hundreds of refugees, mostly boys in their mid to late teens sleeping rough on the streets and in woods around Calais with no access to shelter. The only food and supplies they get is what voluntary support groups are able to give them.”
To read the full account please click here.
The Diocese is also currently working closely with civil society and other organisations to strengthen the East Kent Network of Sanctuary: an umbrella network for organisations, charities and community groups who can support and inspire each other to help build a culture of hospitality for people seeking sanctuary in East Kent.
There are currently localised branches set up, or about to be set up, in Dover, Canterbury, Deal, Sandwich and on the Isle of Thanet.
The next meeting for the Canterbury area will take place on Monday 15 May at 6pm at the Friends Meeting House, 6 The Friars, Canterbury CT1 2AS. (Please do email Domenica at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be involved or kept updated.
During Refugee Week on Friday 23 June (6.30pm, the Gulbenkian), the Diocese’s Communities and Partnerships Framework is hosting a film screening of Evaporating Borders – an award-winning documentary about the life of refugees in camps in Lesbos.
There will be a panel discussion following the film on the topic of life for refugees in Kent after resettlement.
Plans are also under the way for the Great Get Together on the 17 June. More information about venues, activities, dates, and times will be available in the next e-bulletin.