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Welcoming rainbow congregations

by
01 November 2013

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From the Revd Larry Wright
Sir, - Recent pronouncements lamenting the failure of churches to welcome Commonwealth migrants in the 1960s (News, 25 October) should urge us to greater efforts of hospitality towards the present generation of migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers.

As in many other inner-city parishes, our membership is a rainbow congregation, some born Christian, and others who are converts. They all share stories of migration and exile from the places they still call home. We endeavour to provide pastoral, practical, and spiritual care that is appropriate and sensitive to their ethnic heritage.

We have learned from them the need to foster spiritual integration while affirming their cultural integrity. In turn, we offer opportuni-ties to grow in membership, discipleship, and leadership. It is a reciprocal dynamic that takes time, effort, and a willingness to be all-embracing.

If we are not to repeat the mistakes of history, we must let go of outdated concepts of superiority and assimilation, and recognise that we are part of a global Christian movement that is reaching into our pews and challenging our assumptions and our identity.

LARRY WRIGHT
100 Bridge Street West
Newtown
Birmingham B19 2YX

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