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Great turn-out

13 February 2015

THE appeal had come from Canon Andrew White, of St George's, Baghdad; and the Seven Churches group of parishes in Ely diocese responded. Canon White had asked urgently for warm clothing for refugees - including many Christians - who had fled from the violence in Mosul, in Iraq, leaving almost everything behind. They are now suffering terrible winter conditions in the mountains of Kurdistan.

In just a week, the parishes of Balsham, Hildersham, Great and Little Abington, West Wratting, Weston Colville, and West Wickham had collected no fewer than 400 bags of coats, scarves, boots, children's clothing, rugs, blankets, wellies - even a baby bath, some crutches, and a cot.

The bags were then driven to Brighton by two members of the Seven Churches clergy team: the Revd Keith Johnson, a former Dean of St Christopher's Cathedral, Bahrain; and a lay minister, Keith Day. The bags are now on their way, by lorry, to the refugees.

"We had planned to deliver the clothes by car," Mr Johnson says, "but it was obvious from the volume of items we would need to rent a van, and a local vehicle-hire firm gave us a big discount. This was a whole community effort."

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