Transforming the communities of Essex & East London through Christ’s presence

A statement from the Diocesan Refugee Coordinator about the Church’s work with refugees and asylum seekers

17th Nov 2021

The Chelmsford Diocese Refugee co-ordinator, the Revd Canon Gareth Jones has issued a statement following stories in today's media about the Church's work to support refugees and asylum seekers. The statement reads as follows:

"I am proud of the Church’s commitment to walk alongside some of the world's most vulnerable people. It is a central tenet of the Christian faith and one that expresses the truth that all people are created in the image of God and deserve freedom of religion, dignity and respect.

The Church nationally offers considerable support to refugees and asylum seekers, often picking up the work statutory agencies fail to do. Tens of thousands of Christians volunteer everyday to walk alongside displaced peoples, often at great cost to themselves.

In the Diocese of Chelmsford we have successfully walked with almost 300 refugees and played a part in their resettlement story. Every day our clergy bring hope, love and practical help to those applying for asylum in the UK. 

Whilst the Church will always want to help ensure that refugees and asylum seekers are processed humanely and have access to fair justice, we are not in any way responsible for assessing the veracity of asylum claims or the security implications of individuals. This is the job of the Home Office and Security Services. 

The Church will always report those who seek to abuse the system and cause harm to the relevant authority, and would never offer its most precious and sacred gift of baptism to those it believes do not truly desire it or understand the responsibilities of receiving it."