Easter One of the first things Pope Francis said on his election was to wish that the Church would be "a poor Church for the poor". What would a poor Church look like, though, and what transformation would be necessary to become such a Church? And can w
The thought of Lent fills me with dread. Coping with winter weather is bad enough. I need cheering up rather than extra layers of austerity. Past experience tells me that my resolutions at the beginning of Lent go the way of all good intentions. I don’
By Steve Atherton, Justice & Peace fieldworker During 2015 over one million people sought refuge in Europe in the biggest movement of displaced people since the Second World War. We were told that the influx would stop with the onset of winter but it c
By Steve Atherton, Justice and Peace fieldworker Maybe I don't get out enough but I have still not met anyone who was not dismayed by the decision taken in the House of Commons to join in the bombing of Syria. The principles of Just War theory have a p
The Pope's EncyclicalThe Pope's concerns for the planet This page will try to give a flavour of the beautiful new encyclical by Pope Francis and to show that the pontiff’s well-known care for the poor is matched by his care for the earth. The actual do
As we continue to develop an Archdiocesan strategy for how to respond to the current refugee crisis, it is helpful to know what the Government's policy is for those claiming refugee status.
The Government's official website says that to be recognised as a refugee, you must:
The UK government waived these criteria for a limited group of Syrian refugees when it launched the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS) for Syrian refugees in March 2014. Since then, just over 200 people have benefited from the scheme. Last week it increased the targeted number to 20,000 over five years while at the same time confirming there would be no significant change of policy. The official website stated: "The Government believes the UK can add most value through a complementary scheme, focusing on helping the most vulnerable refugees who cannot be supported effectively in the region." http://researchbriefings.files.parliament.uk/documents/SN06805/SN06805.pdf
LATEST ADVICE FROM THE GOVERNMENT
"The best way to help refugees is to donate cash to humanitarian organisations or charities. Cash donations are the fastest, most efficient way to get help to vulnerable people ... Cash donations enable relief agencies to cater to the specific needs of the affected population as quickly as possible. They also allow relief agencies to buy goods in the affected region, helping to regenerate the local economy.
"Many international organisations are working in the UK, across Europe and in the countries refugees are fleeing from to provide aid and assistance. Recommended and experienced humanitarian and relief agencies that you can support include: