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Refugee Appeal

Our new parish priest, Fr Dylan, notes: I don't yet know what has been done or said about the refugee crisis in West Moors, but here is a page of comments we had from Shaftesbury parish:

The plight of refugees fleeing from Lybia, Syria, Iraq and other troubled parts of the Middle East has been repeatedly shown to us in the media.  As Pope Francis said when he recently addressed the US Congress, "Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the Second World War.  This presents us with great challenges and many hard decisions.  On this continent, too, thousands of persons are led to travel north in search of a better life for themselves and for their loved ones, in search of greater opportunities.  Is this not what we want for our own children?  We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation.  To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal.  We need to avoid a common temptation nowadays: to discard whatever proves troublesome.  Let us remember the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” (Mt 7:12).  This Rule points us in a clear direction.  Let us treat others with the same passion and compassion with which we want to be treated.  Let us seek for others the same possibilities which we seek for ourselves.  Let us help others to grow, as we would like to be helped ourselves.  In a word, if we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.  The yardstick we use for others will be the yardstick which time will use for us.  The Golden Rule also reminds us of our responsibility to protect and defend human life at every stage of its development.”

To read a statement from our Bishop, +Mark O'Toole, about local Diocesan help see the bottom of this page, and a statement from our Bishops' Conference click here

In Shaftesbury parish, so far our current efforts to assist have included:

(1) Aiding Refugees in their Homelands
Our annual Harvest Collection 5-6th Sept 2015 was to assist Iraqi Christian refugees driven from their homes by ISIS. This was channeled through 'Aid to the Church in Need'.

(2) Aiding Refugees across Europe
Our local SVP group are coordinating donations via the Red Cross. As the government website says, "You can donate items to British Red Cross charity shops. They’ve launched #ShopDrop for Refugee Crisis, where they’ll accept quality clothing, books and unwanted gifts. Money raised from goods donated to the Europe Refugee Crisis will go towards the British Red Cross Europe Refugee Crisis Appeal.” The Red Cross website says, "They need food, water and medical care. Red Cross volunteers across Europe are working around the clock to support hundreds of thousands of refugees as they attempt to reach safety.” 
Any items left in the Food Bank basket in the Shaftebsury church porch will be taken on to the Red Cross (please note, they ask for “quality” clothing, books and unwanted gifts). Thank you. 

(3) Offering Rooms and Homes to Refugee Families?
As you may have heard in the media, Pope Francis has asked that 'every parish, every religious community, every monastery, every sanctuary of Europe' take in refugees. 
Our parish priest, Fr Dylan, says, "I realise that this is a big request, and I can’t claim to know what practicalities will be involved, but can I ask everyone to consider if you are able to assist. Marnhull parish have already got a number of offers of rooms and accommodation to help the needs of the fleeing refugees, can we do the same?  In acknowledgement of these and other offers of help throughout the diocese, our Bishop, +Mark O'Toole has appointed a point of contact, Mary Conway who will liaise with local government agencies. You can email Mary at: to offer whatever help you can."  Alternatively you could contact the 'Room for Refugees' Hosting Scheme directly by clicking  here.  Organised by 'Positive Action in Housing', the Room for Refugees scheme matches refugees to individuals and families who are offering to host them, as they say on their website, "Room for Refugees offers temporary (free) shelter in people’s homes to people from refugee communities who have no recourse to public funds or emergency housing while they attempt to regularise their status with the help of their caseworker. The scheme is entirely voluntary and no money changes hands; instead, we work with “refugee hosts” to help individuals rebuild and stabilise their lives. We may also offer those seeking refuge limited small emergency crisis grants and other practical support like donated clothing, free food, hygiene packs, and more (subject to availability)."    

(4) Other Help?
If you have further suggestions for what we might do as a parish, or of what you might do yourself, please contact our parish priest, 
Fr Dylan, or our local SVP chair 

Bishop Mark O'Toole's Letter Se[pt 2015