Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Anglican Church Diocese of Wellington Refugee Statement

Anglican Church Diocese of Wellington says it will take responsibility for housing 160 refugees

Church puts in place a ‘One family, one parish’ policy and urges the government to be generous in its rethink of the country’s refugee quota

Congregations from the Anglican Church’s Diocese of Wellington have had meetings throughout the weekend and have said they have the capacity to house and financially support 40 families – approximately 160 people – in response to the current refugee crisis.

There has been an overwhelming positive response to a call by the Right Reverend Justin Duckworth, Anglican Bishop of Wellington, for each congregation across the Diocese to take responsibility for one refugee family. So far 40 congregations have agreed to take on a family with more expected to follow suit in coming days. There are 60 congregations in the Diocese which covers most of the lower North Island.

Bishop Justin says the approach of asking each congregation to take responsibility for one family was a practical way to respond to the refugee crisis which has seen the greatest displacement of people from war and conflict since the Second World War.

“In the Diocese of Wellington we aspire to serve the ‘last, lost and least’. We cannot have this as a core part of our identity and not respond to this overwhelming human tragedy in a practical way,” Bishop Justin says.

“We are pleased that the government will later today announce an increase to our refugee quota and we urge a generous response.

“As a country we have been criticised for not doing enough to respond to the refugee crisis. We want to say loudly and clearly, as the Anglican Church of New Zealand, that we are prepared to help in a practical way. If resources are the limiting factor in our government’s decision over what level to increase the quota by, we are committing to take over the wellbeing and support of 40 families.

“This tragedy requires a humanitarian response, economic cost should not be the primary concern in our country’s decision in how to act.”

The commitment to house refugee families came following a letter that was sent out by Bishop Justin on Saturday (5 September) to church leaders across the Diocese of Wellington. The letter was read out at services yesterday with church members providing feedback to minsters.

Participating churches have said they are committed to do what’s required to support one refugee family per congregation. This will include:

• Providing a warm and friendly welcome to the country

• Providing initial housing for a family and eventually helping them find long term accommodation

• Helping integrate them into their new community (assisting them to set up bank accounts, paying bills etc)

• Assisting with childcare and schooling needs

• Helping address initial medical and counselling needs

• Language learning where required

• Assisting in finding employment

• Financial assistance towards resettlement

The Diocese of Wellington says they will work closely with expert agencies to ensure a complete level of support and care is provided to families.

The commitment from the Diocese of Wellington is a practical response to calls from Cardinal John Dew of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop Philip Richardson of the Anglican Church, to increase to the number of refugees taken in by New Zealand.

Bishop Justin said he is proud that the Church of New Zealand is uniting on this issue and he is aware that other denominations, including the Baptist Churches of New Zealand, are currently working on their own practical response to the refugee crisis.

Letter that was sent to congregations in the Diocese of Wellington:

Dear Family,

As the reality of the world’s refugee crisis has been brought into clear focus in recent days, we have all been moved with compassion for those whose situation is so desperate that they are prepared to give up all that they know and to risk their lives to find safety in a foreign land. As governments struggle to deal with the enormity of the wave of humanity fleeing war and persecution it’s hard for us to know how to respond meaningfully. As individuals it’s difficult to see what difference we can make, however, as family, I believe we have the opportunity to make a response.

I’m writing to you to invite you as a congregation, a parish and a diocese to join together to offer to share a portion of the abundance that we enjoy with those people on the road and sea seeking a taste of the safety that we enjoy in our land. What I’m challenging us to consider is making a collective undertaking to provide the support necessary to settle one refugee family in each of our parishes. Each of us might be able to provide support in the form of accommodation, money or practical support and our individual contribution might not seem like much but acting together we can achieve enough to make a real difference to real lives.

Please prayerfully consider this challenge. Please tell the leadership of your parish of your support for such an undertaking. It’s my hope that I will hear over the next 24 hours from each parish about the commitments you are in a position to make. I know that your prayers will be joined with mine as we ask for God’s mercy to be known in the lives of the world’s refugees.

Amen

+Justin

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mediaworks: Three to be sold or closed

MediaWorks has today announced that it intends to sell MediaWorks TV as well as its Flower Street property which includes its television head office and studios.

The intention is for MediaWorks to sell the television side of the business while retaining ownership of radio and QMS. The Flower Street property will also be put up for sale with a lease back option for a buyer to continue to operate television from that location.

MediaWorks Chairman Jack Matthews said that MediaWorks is committed to continuing to grow its business in New Zealand while recognising that free-to-air television operates in a challenging environment. More>>

 
 

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>

ALSO:

Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>

ALSO:

Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>

ALSO:

‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels