“On the evening of Wednesday 22 June, we hosted the second Charis public meeting to report on progress with offering a vulnerable Syrian family safe haven in Taunton. We were delighted that approximately 50 people came. We heard some shocking statistics:
- 61 million displaced refugees worldwide
- 11 million from Syria
- 6 million Syrians living outside Syria.
Syrians are not economic migrants. Most want peace to fall upon their country and to go home. Our government is right to support temporary housing in refugee camps. However, some are too vulnerable for this and they need to be resettled here and in other developed countries. Britain has pledged to take 20,000 and Charis is church sponsorship to help in this challenging process. Charis has applied for charitable status and once this is received we can have informal and formal conversations with the Home Office. Taunton Deane is about to receive the second family – the first family has integrated very well so far. Accommodation remains the biggest difficulty. In North London, an orthodox and liberal synagogue have buried their differences and are working together with a local mosque to bring over a family using the same community support approach Charis is using. Many of the Jewish people involved descend from refugees given sanctuary here during the 1930’s and remain exceeding grateful for the welcome they received when they needed it most.”
Rod Corke, Vicar