'For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.' Mt. 25:35-36
The Diocese’s Refugee Crisis Fund was established by Bishop Richard in 2015. Since its inception, the resources generously donated to the Fund have helped people in need of all ages and backgrounds, across our community. By donating financially, giving of your time as volunteers and offering your prayers and intentions, our many parishes have helped to promote the important mission of the Church and make the lives of refugees and asylum seekers living in our Diocese more hopeful.
Your donations have helped to spread the Good News of the Gospel, enabling one of the most vulnerable groups in our community to access vital help and support.
Everyone has the right to seek asylum in another country. When people leave their homes to seek safety and sanctuary in another country, they apply for asylum.
A person applying for asylum must demonstrate that their home country is not a safe place for them to remain - which can be difficult to prove. Half of the world’s refugees are children, many of whom take flight without the protection of parents or adult family members.
'The more we are able to open our minds and hearts to those who are in the greatest need, the more we witness to the words of Jesus: ‘I was a stranger and you made me welcome.’ (Mt. 25:35).
Pope Francis has spoken a great deal about the plight of refugees. In his 2021 message to mark the 107th World Day of Migrants and Refugees the Pope said: ‘The refugee crisis is a huge challenge, not only in Europe and the Middle East, but in many other parts of the world where large numbers of refugees live deeply uncertain and perilous lives... As a Catholic community, and as a country, we need to be committed to helping refugees over a long period. To sustain that effort, we need moral imagination.’
Pope Francis has challenged world leaders to do more to protect refugees and migrants, insisting that they should be treated with respect, and helped at every stage of their journey. Speaking late last year, Cardinal Vincent Nichols said 'Everyone is a child of God, with an innate dignity and worth. Focused international cooperation, safe routes to sanctuary and joint efforts to tackle poverty are all needed in the face of a global flood of desperate humanity.'
The more we are able to open our minds and hearts to those who are in the greatest need, the more we witness to the words of Jesus: ‘I was a stranger and you made me welcome.'
People and families applying for asylum in the UK are not usually allowed to work while their claim is being considered. They are given £39.63 per person, per week which must cover all their outgoings, including food, transport costs, and clothing.
More than £135,000 has been generously donated to the Refugee Crisis Fund over the past five years, enabling us to make a very real difference to people in need. Contributions to the Fund have enabled the Diocese to give financial grants to a wide range of charities and organisations including: Gatwick Detainees, Eastbourne Networx, Worthing for Refugees, St Leonards-on-Sea SVP, Refugees Welcome Crawley and Brighton Voices in Exile. Donations to the Fund have helped to spread the Good News of the Gospel, enabling one of the most vulnerable groups in our community to access vital help and support. You can find out how your contributions have helped people living across our Diocese by reading the accounts below:
War, Climate Crisis, violence, and human rights violations mean that more people than ever are becoming displaced. According to the UN Refugee Agency (2021), Germany, France, Spain and Italy receive the majority of European asylum applications, though 73% of people end up living in a country next to their country of origin.
We are extremely thankful for everything that has been achieved since the Fund began in 2015, and for the commitment people across our Church family have undertaken in prayer, volunteering their skills and talents, and through their financial generosity. With your help we hope to continue welcoming and supporting those who have suffered the loss of their home, the all-too- common loss of loved ones, and the hardship of dangerous travel, who have come to dwell amongst us.
The Fund’s financial reserves are now very low - and risk running out altogether. For this important work to continue we need your help. If you would like to make a financial contribution to the work of the Refugee Crisis Fund, please click on the button below.