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Bishop Alan Wilson: Government "should look very carefully" at its response to refugee crisis

Sun 18 Oct 2015
By Antony Bushfield

The Bishop of Buckingham has told Premier the Church was right to publish its letter to the government urging it to do more on the refugee crisis.

The Church of England has released a letter, signed by 84 bishops, which was sent to Prime Minister David Cameron in September, urging him to make a "meaningful and substantial response to the scale of human suffering we see daily".

Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson told Premier he "didn't know" if publishing the letter would make any difference to government policy, and added it wasn't about bishops but instead "people in need".

He said: "There are all sorts of things we need to be doing to respond properly to this crisis.

"We were offering a challenge but we were also offering encouragement, to know there are networks out there, led by Christians very often, who are willing to help.

"But we do want a response, not just bureaucratic shovelling bits of paper around."

In a response to the letter Downing Street said: "We must use our head and our heart by pursuing a comprehensive approach that tackles the causes of the problem as well as the consequences."

But Bishop Alan said the current plan on the table was not good enough: "Now there are massive population movements happening and we need to respond to them very seriously indeed".

He said he was "personally disappointed" by the Conservative party's rhetoric on migrants and added he thought we were "better than that".

He agreed that Prime Minister David Cameron may be annoyed at the Church for releasing the statement but said he was "a good decent and compassionate man".

"I'm sure he will look to the bigger picture," he added.

Listen to Premier's Antony Bushfield's interview with the Bishop of Buckingham Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson:

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