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Church of England will send first refugee chaplain to Calais

Wed 26 Sep 2018
By Alex Williams

A chaplain ministering to refugees is going to be stationed in Calais by the Church of England for the first time, amid concern over a rising number of migrants settling around ports in northern France.

Canon Kirrilee Reid will leave her current post as the rector of a rural church in Perth and Kinross to boost the presence of the Church's Pas-de-Calais Chaplaincy team.

The Bishop of Gibraltar in Europe, Rt Revd Dr Robert Innes: "I am delighted that we have been able to appoint Kirrilee to this strategic post at a crucially significant time for the Pas-de-Calais chaplaincy and the people it serves.

 

"Kirrilee brings extensive experience of the Church, a passion for social justice, and sustained involvement in working with migrants and refugees to her new ministry."

The post of chaplain and refugee projects officer is intended to boost co-ordination between both sides of the England Channel, to ensure migrants and their families receive the care and support they need.

A similar role was created in Kent by the Diocese of Canterbury three years ago.

Picture: Premier's Rosie Wright in the 'Jungle' migrant camp in Calais in 2016

 

The new role is thanks to a partnership between the Church of England's Diocese in Europe and Diocese of Canterbury, as well as the Anglican missing agency United Society Partners in the Gospel (USPG).

Currently the rector of All Saints in Glencarse, Canon Reid was born and raised in Australia where she was ordained in twelve years ago. She has recently completed a sabbatical working with refugee agencies in Greece.

The Bishop of Dover, Rt Revd Trevor Willmott said: "Compassionate and pragmatic ministry with both refugees and the communities they find themselves in is an essential calling for our times."

The Archdeacon of France, Ven Meurig Williams added: "The fruitful partnerships that have made this appointment possible are an exciting development for us in France.

"It is very good that we have been able to appoint a priest who has pastoral depth, creative flair and a sustained engagement with some of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people."

Canon Reid will be licenced to her new ministry on 8th November.

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