The congregation has a couple of ways it is responding to needs of refugees and asylum seekers. One is working with others in the community from our Refugee Response Group in teaching English and that seems to be going well though clearly everyone involved is learning a lot.
The other is perhaps a more informal grouping of people whom we have met at various times and each time includes others who have moved to the UK because of fear of their lives mainly from Syria. This second group met informally again tonight over some food and once more heard stories from renewable energy engineers, lawyers, teachers, farmers, all who had to escape Syria.
In both these groupings the once thing that always, always, always comes to the fore is the real life stories of people just like yourself and to realise that there would be very little racism and prejudice and fear of immigrants and even less chance of Charlottesville if folk found the time to create space to talk.
It really is as simple as that. One of the conversations I had tonight was about how meeting professionals from different cultures helps solve more difficult problems because each sees the same problem from a different perspective.
But more than that, actually, was the conversations about family, about who people were, what their longings were, the difficulties they met daily. It would be so much easier to run the world if we were open to hear others. What an education we would have if we learned about the same situations (World Wars, Environment, Geography, History, Language etc) from the perspective of different cultures. It's like getting a sudden doze of breadth into your experience of life.
If you would like to be part of our refugee response groups which are for the whole community then email the office (firstname.lastname@example.org)