CLIMATE CHANGE: following the last meeting of the Social Justice Forum, and a talk by Jo Musker-Sherwood of Hope for the Future, we wrote a letter about Climate Change in relation to Brexit and to living in Kew to our MP and to Sarah Olney, who is likely to contest the seat in any future general election. The letter was signed by just over 100 people. The letter and their replies are displayed on the church Notice Board. We are consulting further with Hope for the Future over taking this engagement with our MP further.
How can we help refugees? A brief guide (updated February 2019)
‘Overall the best way to help a newly arrived refugee is to befriend them. Many will have lost friends and family before arriving here. Rather than being ‘helped’, socialising can really help a refugee move on from what they’ve lost and rebuild their lives in their new country.’ (Refugee Action)
1.Prayer.You can pray at home, while travelling, at work, in a church, as you are walking along. You can find prayers on a handout in all the pews of the church and also in the Social Justice Forum Handouts, number 1 – 7.
2. Being informed. There is basic information in the Social Justice Forum handouts, numbers 1-7 plus details of many relevant web sites.
3. Helping or supporting three charities with whom St Anne’s has direct contact.
i – Breaking Barriershelps refugees to prepare for and secure employment. If you are interested in learning more. you can find out about their work and ways in which you could help at breaking-barriers.co.uk.
ii – CARAS caras.org.uk – Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers –is based in Tooting and provides community activities and language lessons, as well as general support, mainly to women and young people in south west London.
iii – Safe Passage safepassage.org.uk. Helps young people come safely and legally to the UK.
If you would like to help or support any of these charities in any way, please contact the Parish Office who will put you in touch with someone who is actively involved.
4. Supporting Refugees Welcome in Richmond. www.refugeeswelcomeinrichmond.org. This borough wide initiative has found (with difficulty) four properties in the private rented sector for Syrian refugees coming to the UK under the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme and then helping and supporting the households. Their goal is to find fifty properties in total. Help is always welcome. Please contact the Parish Office with any questions.
5. Teaching English locally. www.leah.org.uk LEAH (Learning English At Home), telephone 020 8255 6144 is a local organisation. Volunteers receive training and need to make a weekly commitment for a minimum of one year.
6. Refugee Action in Kingston. www.refugeeactionkingston.org.uk. This local charity is active in helping and advising refugees and asylum seekers in Kingston and is often looking for volunteers and support.
7. Giving money. All charities, large and small, helping refugees here and abroad, welcome our support. Social Justice Forum handouts have details of many of these. .
DECLARATION BY THE PARISH CHURCH OF ST ANNE KEW
Our congregation is: Christ Centred + Faithful + Inclusive + Outward Looking. As a witness to these guiding principles, we are glad to adopt this Declaration by the Bishop of Southwark, the Mayor of London and many faith leaders:
• “We pledge our determination as Londoners to ensure that this great city shall continue to be a place of welcome, generosity and equality, with respect for all.
• “We condemn and oppose prejudice and distrust and will work unceasingly for tolerance and the common good.
• “We abhor all examples of exclusion based on ethnic identity that mar relationships between neighbours of all ages, faiths and backgrounds.
• “We stand in solidarity with those in London who are mistreated or held in contempt because of who they are or where they have come from.
• “We affirm that our diversity is a source of strength and that we are committed to learning from one another.
• “We commit to living out this Declaration in our own life, in our teaching and preaching and in our community engagement.’
As members of St Anne’s Church, we are trying to fulfil this commitment now by:
• learning more, with open minds, about refugees, asylum seekers and migration generally;
• praying and reflecting on how God is calling us at this time to respond to these issues;
• joining with organisations that are working to help the people who are suffering through being refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, notably Breaking Barriers, CARAS (Community Action for Refugees and Asylum Seekers), Refugee Action Kingston and Refugees Welcome in Richmond;
• sharing what we are trying to do and why, with our family, friends and those whom we meet.
After one year, 26 people had signed the declaration.
We are supporting the work of Richmond Food bank with a collection box at the back of the church for the donation of non perishable food items. A list of what they currently need is displayed on the box.