Mosques in North-East London with Churches and Christian groups are working together to sponsor a Syrian refugee family who arrive tomorrow, 26 June 2019, to start their new life in the UK.
The Redbridge Community Sponsorship project – a partnership between South Woodford Mosque, Balfour Road Mosque, Ilford Methodist Church, Ilford Salvation Army, St. Thomas of Canterbury RC Church and Wanstead Quakers – was initially formed in 2017.
This week is Refugee Week – an annual programme of events highlighting the contribution refugees make to UK communities, and countering negative and misleading narratives about those seeking sanctuary.
It wasn’t that long ago I received a stark reminder of why such a week is necessary.
‘NICK COKE IS A RACE TRAITOR’. There before my eyes was a notice stuck to a lamppost. Six words in large, bold capital letters shouting out on a white background – the word ‘RACE’ enlarged for extra emphasis. Further on up the street I could see another, fixed to a pillar at the entrance to the supermarket carpark. I drove on, got out of the car and ripped it down. Apparently there had been more up and down the high street near to the church where I was shortly to speak about the life-changing work we do with vulnerable refugees. Early arrivals had spotted and removed most of them, except as I drove away at the end of the evening I caught sight of another further on up the road. It was late, I was tired and wanted to go home, I drove on.
Why would someone do this? Was it because of my billing on the church’s publicity as the national Refugee Response Co-ordinator for The Salvation Army, and a ‘supporter of refugees’? In truth I found it pretty shocking to be named and targeted in this way. It’s never happened before, I’m not convinced it’ll happen again – but it would be foolish to pretend that it doesn’t reveal something disturbing about the precarious times in which we live.
We talk about a ‘refugee crisis’ but it seems to me that the crisis is as much about our own hearts and minds as it is anything else.
Today, Heather Wheeler MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Housing and Homelessness, visited Redbridge to discuss the issues the borough is facing with a high number of people sleeping rough. A number of organisations, including The Salvation Army Ilford, were represented at the roundtable meeting with the Minister, Leader of Redbridge Council Cllr Jas Athwal, and Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Farah Hussain.
— Read on popuphostel-ilfordsalvationarmy.nationbuilder.com/parliamentary_undersecretary_for_housing_and_homelessness_visits_project_malachi
Salvationist Thoughts: Acknowledging Privilege, History and Moving Forward | SA Justice
— Read on sajustice.us/salvationthoughtsjessicasneed/
“This morning at 8:05 am, I dropped my son Daniel off for his first day of YMCA Day Camp. I’ve spent the past week prepping him for this day: signing forms, explaining the schedule to him, packing an earthquake kit into a gallon sized ziplock bag. Over the last 24 hours, I explained to him three times that his snack was in the baggie, and his lunch was in the lunchbox. Even so, as I dropped him off this morning in this new place with virtual strangers, my heart wasn’t quite at ease.”
Salvationist Thoughts: Responding to the Humanitarian Crisis on the Border | SA Justice
— Read on sajustice.us/salvationthoughts1-2/
“When the United States first started separating children from their parents at the border, I was devastated. Not just because I find it absolutely abhorrent that we would treat any human in this way but because as the daughter of an immigrant I can’t help but to think about my dad every time I see a family detained at the border.”
By Ben Cotterill and Ryan Wileman featuring Roger Coates
Today (30th September 2017) we celebrate the 16 Salvationists who have begun their training to be Salvation Army officers in the UKI Territory. Within our celebrations, though, is the sober recognition of the fact that this low number represents the continuance of a trend decline in the quantity of candidates and cadets. We thank God for those stepping forward, but we also look to God with this concern! As in most strands of Christian life, we hold positives and negatives in live tension. …
Read the rest here.
Dave Morris has been an intern based at Ilford Salvation Army, from the Centre for Theology and Community. You can read some of his reflections here!
“Dave Morris took part in this summer’s Urban Leadership School, interning at Ilford Salvation Army. In this blog, he reflects on the central role of sharing and listening to stories in the practice of community organising.
Something that has brought together all of the interns on the Summer Internship is story-telling. In the remembering and the telling we have all learned so much about ourselves and each other. Sometimes we are in stitches laughing; other times they’re followed by a weighty silence. But every single story has given me insight into who that person is.”
While hustings might be quite familiar to Salvation Army involvement in public life, we’d really recommend reading this explanation of a Citizens UK assembly.
20 years ago there was an organiser called Neil Jameson, who had to have as many one to one face to face meetings as possible in East London. There was no hidden agenda this disciple of Civil Society and Democracy was carrying with him. He was all about getting the East End organised. “Organising was what East London needed most in those days as it does need it now” says Bishop Paul McAleenan, who was a local priest at St. Scholastica’s in Clapton 20 years ago and now the Bishop of the Diocese of Westminster. Bishop Paul was there 20 years ago at the founding assembly and he has once again come back to join the 1000 strong delegates to celebrate the 20th year anniversary of The East London Citizens Organisation (TELCO).”