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UNA Harpenden: UN service - refugee crisis

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The speaker was Andrzej Wdowiak, Assistant Director of Caritas Westminster. His talk was entitled Refugees, Migration, and the Catholic Church and it was in response to the British Government’s announcement that the UK will receive 20,000 Syrian refugees over the next five years. The Catholic Church wants to do something for those who arrive and Caritas Westminster has the role of coordinating the Church’s response in the Diocese of Westminster, which includes Harpenden.

The arrival and support of Syrian refugees is being managed by local authorities, who Caritas has approached with offers of assistance. We believe that people’s response to the refugee crisis is an opportunity to make a difference in our local communities. There are already refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants living in the UK who are at high risk of homelessness, sexual violence and destitution, and lack recourse to public funds. This is a chance to harness the enthusiasm generated by the refugee crisis by working with those in need already in our communities. By doing so, we can prepare for the time when we are able to help those arriving from Syria. Whatever our form of response, we should be clear of our motivations. We do not live in isolation and we must work with others to achieve the best possible outcome.

The congregation included people from many Harpenden Churches and Harpenden UNA members. A collection at the service raised £535.80, which has been donated to Caritas Westminster to support communities working with refugees and migrants.

Contact point


Full Name

Mr Trevor Evans


Telephone number

01582 713895