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/ 13 September 2021

Supporting new arrivals from Afghanistan

As the disaster in Afghanistan unfolds, hundreds of Afghans and their families are being evacuated to the UK and are in need of assistance.

Those being evacuated are Afghan interpreters and support staff who have risked their lives in support of British troops; they and their immediate family members have been flown to safety in the U.K. There are therefore large numbers of Afghans currently living in hotels across the UK. The majority of the refugees are children.

A number of our churches are already supporting the Afghan welcome initiative, run by the Welcome Churches Network, but we would love more of our parishes and communities to get involved. In line with our vision for ‘every Londoner to encounter the love of God in Christ’ we want to offer Afghan refugees the support they need to start a new life in the UK.

There are four ways churches can get involved:

  1. Sign up on the Welcome Network website.
    This will add your church to the mailing list, allowing you to respond to any direct calls for help or support.

  2. Donate money or donate by buying items from the Amazon Wishlist.

  3. Pray

  4. Put a banner outside your church, which says ‘Welcome to the UK’ in Afghan languages (and English). Once you have a banner we would love for you to take a photo of it with people around it expressing their support for Afghan refugees.
    You can order them from here.

What is not currently not helpful:

  • Donations of clothes or furniture (yet – it might be that down the line this will be needed)
  • Any sharing of hotel locations.  All the introductions with churches are made at the invitation of the Home Office or the Local Authority, and are being carefully managed.

Below is a recording of a meeting held last week for church leaders, which expands on the above information:

About Esther Stewart

Esther Stewart is the Communications Manager for the Diocese of London. An alumni of the Archbishop of Canterbury's Community of St Anselm, Esther has worked for the Church of England since 2017.

Read more from Esther Stewart

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