*** DEBUG END ***

Syrian families can come and live at Lambeth, says Welby

25 September 2015

diocese of canterbury

Together: the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott (left), with the Bishop of Arras, the Rt Revd Jean-Paul Jaeger, in Calais

Together: the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott (left), with the Bishop of Arras, the Rt Revd Jean-Paul Jaeger, in Calais

THE Archbishop of Canterbury has promised sanctuary for two Syrian refugee families within Lambeth Palace.

A spokeswoman for the Palace said on Sunday that the plight of refugees was something Archbishop Welby “feels absolutely passionate about”, and that he had been considering an offer for a while. Lambeth Palace confirmed that a four-bedroom cottage, suitable for two families, has been chosen.

The announcement came after several dioceses, including York and Chelmsford, put forward houses to help those fleeing the conflict in Syria. The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Stephen Cottrell, said last week that the Church could be “at the centre” of the country’s response to the crisis. Hundreds of churches in the UK have been contributing to the effort in varying ways.

A vicar in Birmingham has sent hundreds of Bibles to Christian refugees to the “Jungle” camp in Calais, after crowd-funding more than £500. The Revd Oliver Coss, Vicar of All Saints’, Small Heath, set up a Just Giving page to fund the project, after he was contacted by a friend at the Human Relief Foundation.

The charity has been sending copies of the Qur’an to Muslim refugees in the French port, and recently asked for Bibles. Mr Coss wrote on the fund-raising site: “It’s not very often a Muslim friend Facebooks you and says: ‘Can you get me 100 copies of the Bible?’ But that’s exactly what happened.” He has since sent 150 copies of the Bible in English, Arabic, French, and Farsi.

In Sheffield, an ordinand is planning to send thousands of teddy bears, with “Welcome” notes attached, to refugees arriving in the UK. Joy French, of All Saints’, Ecclesall, set up Project Paddington two weeks ago. She said she was “overwhelmed and delighted” by the response from schools and churches after she received thousands of toys.

In an ecumenical move, the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, joined two Roman Catholic bishops in signing a joint statement on a Day of Action in Calais on Friday to encourage people to respond to the crisis.

Amid crowds of refugees, volunteers, and pilgrims from Canterbury, Bishop Willmott and the RC Archbishop of Southwark, the Rt Revd Peter Smith, and the Bishop of Arras, the Rt Revd Jean-Paul Jaeger, called on Christians to “pray and gather information” for the “better treatment” of all nations.

At the Vatican, a family of four, from Damascus, are reported to have moved in after Pope Francis implored religious communities to “show the true meaning of the gospel” by welcoming one family in need.

Browse Church and Charity jobs on the Church Times jobsite

Forthcoming Events


Church Times/RSCM:

Festival of Faith and Music

26 - 28 April 2024

See the full programme on the festival website. 

Early bird tickets available


Intercultural Church for a Multicultural World

28 May 2024

A Church Times/Church House Publishing webinar

Tickets are FREE


Church Times/Modern Church:

A Political Faith?

Monday 3 June 2024

This panel will explore where Christians have come to in terms of political power and ask, where should we go next?

Online tickets available


Church Times/Modern Church:

Participating in Democracy

Monday 10 June 2024

This panel will explore the power of voting, and power beyond voting.

Online tickets available


Green Church Awards

Closing date: 30 June 2024

Read more details about the awards


Welcome to the Church Times


To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)