Open your door to help refugees, says Bishop John

Bishop John is urging householders to open their doors to help refugees this week.

Christian Aid supporters will be doing door-to-door collections throughout the week across Wales to raise money for refugees.

Bishop John, who is Chair of Christian Aid’s Wales Committee, said: “A small red envelope will be pushed through the letterbox of almost every house in the country next week.  It’s not junk mail nor election clutter but a simple and direct appeal to you to give immediate help to some of the 65 million displaced people in the world today who no longer have a home of their own.

“This year, Christian Aid’s week of door-to-door collections should hit home more than ever as it’s an appeal to help refugees, those who have been forced to flee their own homes with nothing, those for whom home is no longer a safe place.

“This year is the 60th anniversary of the very first such collection by Christian Aid which came in to being in the aftermath of the Second World War with the specific aim of helping those who had been made refugees by that conflict. So, in this 60th anniversary year, please don’t shut the door of your home or your heart to the needs of today’s refugees, but please fill the envelope and return it to the collector with thankfulness that you have been able to help.”

Christian Aid launched its Christian Aid Week 2017 TV campaign on Friday to urge the British public to stand in solidarity with refugees. The advert promotes the charity’s annual fundraising drive, Christian Aid Week (14-20 May www.caweek.org).

The advert looks back over Christian Aid’s history, linking the support it gave to European refugees in the aftermath of the World War II with the charity’s current work helping people fleeing conflict and disaster around the world. It features former Archbishop of Wales and current Christian Aid Chair, Dr Rowan Williams’ voice and begins with Theodor Davidovic from Serbia recalling his time as a refugee post-World War II. His words are still relevant today: “After the war I was a refugee and I feel I owe my life to Christian Aid”.

Christian Aid Week was set up 60 years ago to raise funds to support the aid effort helping refugees fleeing war-torn Europe and in the decades since then, it has continued to raise millions of pounds to help people in need.

Today, tens of millions of people across the globe are forced from their homes due to war, conflict and disaster.  Many are forced to make life-threateningly dangerous journeys in search of a safe place to call home.

While the majority of today’s refugees seek sanctuary in poor countries, in 2015 some one million people crossed into Europe. With borders across the continent now closed to refugees, thousands are stranded – and in need of urgent help.

Christian Aid Week was set up 60 years ago to raise funds to support the aid effort helping refugees fleeing war-torn Europe and in the decades since then, it has continued to raise millions of pounds to help people in need.

Loretta Minghella, chief executive of Christian Aid, said: “Still today there are millions of families – mothers, fathers, children – who are running from conflict, danger and persecution around the world in search of a safe place to call home.  It’s time to say that they have been running long enough. We are not turning our backs now.”

Huw Thomas, head of Christian Aid Wales, who is preaching at Llandaff Cathedral this morning, said: “For a small country, Wales has always played a vital part of Christian Aid, with communities in Wales often raising more money per head than far richer areas in the rest of the UK. As we strive to be a Nation of Sanctuary, I am hopeful that people across Wales will respond to Christian Aid’s call to give, act and pray for refugees who have fled unimaginable violence, in the hope of peace.”

Christian Aid Week unites over 20,000 churches every year to achieve incredible things to support our global neighbours in need, who are suffering through no fault of their own.  With their support, Christian Aid and its global partners continue to provide support for people seeking a safe place to call home, with essentials including food and shelter, as well as advocating for policies to protect them and help them on the ground.

£5 could provide two nutritious meals for a refugee in Europe. £50 could buy a stove for refugees to cook their own food. £285 could buy fridges for a community kitchen in a refugee camp

You can help to change the lives of refugees fleeing conflict and crisis this Christian Aid Week by donating online at www.caweek.org calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘GIVE’ to 70040 to give £5.

Watch the Christian Aid Week advert on youtube.

Watch Theodor Davidovic’s story here: The Refugee Who Never Forgot