Community sponsorship of Syrian refugees

"I make an appeal to parishes, religious communities, monasteries and shrines throughout Europe, that they express the Gospel in a concrete way and host a refugee family.”

Pope Francis

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Parishes in Nottingham Diocese are well placed to respond to Pope Francis’ call to welcome refugees, thanks to pioneering work in Derby Deanery, and a new partnership with the charity Faith in Families.

The parishes in central Derby are now ready to welcome a family under the Home Office’s Community Sponsorship Scheme for Syrian refugees. Lis Martin reported on their preparations in this article, which first appeared in our magazine Just Now in Summer 2019.

Sponsoring a refugee family requires a shared commitment by parishioners and expert backup, but help is at hand. Faith in Families has a long history of enabling our parishes to help families in need - it is based in the Diocese and has been working with families for 70 years. As Lead Sponsor for the Home Office scheme they can advise any group who would like to take on the challenge, provide the necessary supervision, support and safeguarding services, and assist you in making an application.

Parishes which have welcomed a Syrian family consistently say how rewarding the experience is. The refugee family are able to rebuild their lives, but the parish also grows together, and individuals discover new gifts in themselves and their faith.

Derby’s Catholics have paved the way for communities elsewhere in Nottingham Diocese. Why not talk to others in your parish about taking this opportunity to ‘express the Gospel’ as Pope Francis asks?

To explore the possibility of Community Sponsorship in your parish or wider community, email Lynda Fletcher, CEO at Faith in Families, who will be happy to advise, or call her on (0115) 9558811.