Bishop welcomes news of first Norfolk Syrian refugees
The Bishop of Norwich has welcomed news that the first five Syrian refugee families will arrive in Norwich at the start of February.
Last July, members of Norfolk County Council voted overwhelmingly to accept 50 vulnerable Syrian refugees into the County through the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme.
The Norfolk Christian community has been at the front of the response to the refugee crisis and exerting pressure to accept the refugees in Norwich and Norfolk.
The Diocese of Norwich set up a £40,000 refugee fund, the Mothers Union has played a prominent part in the multi-faith Sanctuary Norfolk group and the RC Cathedral of St John’s has played host to several pro-refugees events.
The Bishop of Norwich, Rt Rev Graham James, said: “I am very glad that Norfolk is playing its part in the Government’s Syrian Refugee Resettlement Scheme and hope the first arrivals settle well in their new surroundings. Norfolk’s culture and economy has benefited from many refugees in the past and, despite their harrowing experiences, I hope the new arrivals among us will find this a welcoming place in which to rebuild their lives.
“More than a year ago a Syrian Refugee Fund was established in the Diocese of Norwich. Over £40,000 has been donated, generally in small amounts and often anonymously. It is a sign of the open heartedness of many people in the Diocese. This money will be used to help the families to settle in, especially covering costs not included within the funding of the Government Scheme as well as to support agencies in the city and county working with the Syrian and other refugees, and asylum seekers too.
“Norfolk has a great tradition of welcoming ‘strangers’ as earlier generations of refugees were often known, and I am very glad this tradition continues. Do pray for them and for all who are working with them. Thank you again for such a generous response to others in desperate need.”
With more than £40,000 in the fund there is more than is likely to be needed by the numbers currently arriving. Therefore, provision is also being made for some of the Christian agencies working with asylum seekers and refugees in the area, eg City Saints in Action, and other agencies, to make application for similar purposes for other refugees who have arrived here by different means.
The fund remains open here.
Read our previous article on this topic
Pictured above are marchers in front of the Forum in Norwich at a pro-refugee march last year.