Refugee engagement and resettlement is a key ministry for us in Chelmsford Diocese.
Since 2015 our refugee agency Essex Integration has resettled 300 refugees from Syria and Afghanistan.
The Refugee Engagement team is responsible for developing strategy and working with parishes and local partners in developing our refugee engagement in the diocese and in providing advice, support and signposting to churches walking alongside displaced people.
How you and your parish can help:
The Church of England has produced a tool kit for supporting Afghan refugees, which can be viewed here.
Communities for Ukrainians
Communities for Ukrainians is a partnership between Chelmsford Diocese and Citizens UK to support parishes who are interested and wish to host and welcome Refugees from Ukraine in their local community.
The Diocese in Europe USPG Ukraine emergency appeal
The Church of England Diocese in Europe has partnered with the United Society Partners in the Gospel (USPG) to organise an emergency appeal to support humanitarian work both in Ukraine and with refugees fleeing into neighbouring countries.
The appeal website contains resources to help churches promote the appeal in their own parish communications.
Find out more or make a donation
Community Sponsorship Scheme
The diocese is a Lead Sponsor Organisation for the Home Office Vulnerable Persons Community Sponsorship Resettlement Scheme and we have resettled 9 refugees in our parishes through the scheme since 2019. We are currently rolling out Community Sponsorship across East London and Essex as a sustainable and community centred way of supporting refugees in the long term.
If you are part of a church community in East London and Essex and would like to explore how you can form a Community Sponsorship Scheme with local partners and welcome and support a refugee family in your community, please get in touch.
For further general information on Community Sponsorship in the UK, please visit our partners at RESET Communities and Refugees.
Our parishes support people who have been forced to leave their country of origin and seek asylum in the UK. Our Refugee Engagement Team can provide help, support, advice and signposting to church communities seeking to walk with those applying for asylum in the UK. In the first instance, please ask your church leader to contact us.
If you would like to volunteer or become a befriender, please get in touch with us. We are always looking for volunteers across of a range of areas such as helping with English language, preparing properties, resettlement, and befriending.
Diocesan Refugee Engagement Team
The Revd Canon Gareth Jones has stepped back from his role leading Refugee Ministry in the Diocese of Chelmsford. Paying tribute to Gareth the Bishop of Chelmsford, the Rt Revd Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani said:
"Gareth and those who work closely with him, have made Chelmsford a leading diocese for refugee engagement and resettlement in the Church of England, helping to welcome and settle hundreds of refugees, particularly from Syria and Afghanistan. I want to thank Gareth for his incredible contribution to this ministry which has helped to transform the lives of so many people. He will be greatly missed in this role".
The Archdeacon of Colchester, the Venerable Ruth Patten will now work with others involved in Refugee Ministry across the diocese to develop a plan to take this work forward. Whilst there are long term decisions to be taken, addressing pressing matters such as how properties can be used to house refugees from Ukraine will be a priority and we will provide further information about this soon.
If you have any questions about Refugee Ministry, please contact our Assistant Refugee Co-ordinator, Carolyn Gilmore at firstname.lastname@example.org