*** DEBUG END ***

Real-life stories to illustrate definitions in new refugee dictionary

09 July 2021


THE doyenne of Countdown’s “Dictionary Corner”, Susie Dent, is backing a campaign for a refugee dictionary that will define “refugee” through thousands of stories, launched by the UN Refugee Agency’s UK charity to mark the 70th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention. Anglican archbishops have contributed their own definitions.

Article 1 of the Convention defines a refugee as “a person who is outside his/her country of nationality or habitual residence; has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion; and is unable or unwilling to avail himself/herself of the protection of that country, or to return there, for fear of persecution.”

The aim of the refugee dictionary is to “remind us of the rich tapestry of stories and futures made possible because of this significant human-rights convention and celebrate the UK’s proud tradition of giving refuge by inviting the public to join in”, a press release from UK for UNHCR says. “Refugees aren’t confined or defined by one word but are individuals with myriad rich stories, hopes and lives.” All are welcome to take part.

For the Archbishop of Canterbury, a refugee is someone “made in the divine image of the God who Himself knew persecution and homelessness”. His predecessor Lord Williams noted that a refugee was “someone who asks us, ‘Are you at home enough with yourselves to let me be at home with you?’” The Archbishop of York, the Most Revd Stephen Cottrell, described a refugee as “any of us, if life’s securities shatter. It is me tomorrow if freedoms end.”

Ms Dent’s definition was the mother who sees her child find their smile again, free of turmoil, full of hope”.

Other contributors include the first female Syrian refugee pilot and UNHCR goodwill ambassador, Maya Ghazal.

The book will be published on 28 July.


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.)