The Diocese of Chelmsford leads the Church of England on refugee engagement and resettlement. Since 2015 our refugee agency Essex Integration has resettled 300 refugees from Syria and Afghanistan.
Our Refugee Engagement Team is led by Canon Gareth Jones. He 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. Gareth is the refugee engagement advisor to the Bishop of Chelmsford and is one of two national Church of England advisors.
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
Diocesan Refugee Coordinator
Assistant Refugee Coordinator
Gareth and Carolyn are supported by a small team of volunteers and an administrator.