Bishops host conference on welcoming refugees and asylum seekers

It is hard to imagine what it must be like for the 20,000 Syrians who are being resettled her in the UK as part of the governments Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme.

How Christians can respond practically to the needs of refugees and asylum seekers is a real concern and was discussed at a conference hosted by the bishops of Manchester and Stockport at the week-end.

The Bishop of Manchester, Dr David Walker, opened the conference and the Bishop of Stockport, Libby Lane, gave a reflection on the imperative to welcome strangers in our midst. The conference was designed to help churches and communities explore how they might better welcome people who have been displaced and are seeking refuge.

Bishop Libby said: “The church can play an important part in helping communities welcome refugees and asylum seekers. I want to encourage reflection on how we do this and why it is our calling to welcome those who seek refuge.”

Organised jointly by the Diocese of Manchester and Greater Together Manchester, the event updated delegates on the ‘refugee crisis’, the government’s response both locally and nationally, and the complexities of the UK asylum system.

The conference was held at Salford University and Premiers Northern Correspondent Ian Britton filed this report from the conference

You can also listen to the Bishop of Stockport, Libby Lane, reflection on the imperative to welcome strangers in our midst.

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