01 July 2015
Churches encouraged to offer support to migrants
Following on from a Notice of Motion presented to this year's Methodist Conference, all Methodist churches are being encouraged to provide support to at least one individual or family crossing Europe from the Mediterranean fleeing from conflict.
The Revd Olufemi R W Cole-Njie, who proposed the motion, said "Social action is at the heart of Methodism. When people are in need it is our role as the Church to step-up and help the hungry, the weak, the stranger. Thousands of people are fleeing their homes in fear for their lives. How can we on one hand say that we welcome Jesus into our lives, and yet on the other not welcome those in need?"
In addition to encouraging its own churches to do more, the Conference has urged the Government to accept those seekeing asylum on a much larger scale, commensurate with Britain's size and resources.
Praising the enormous contribution that migrants and refugees make in Britain, the Conference welcomed the recent Statement by the Conference of European Churches that encouraged European Churches and Institutions to support refugees, and applauded the ongoing efforts of the Churches in Greece and Italy, particularly for the 'Mediterranean Hope' project.
The Revd Stephen J Burgess, Chair of the York & Hull District, added "What this practically looks like will be different in each community and for each church. But in putting this forward, we are encouraging and reminding our churches to fulfil the words of Wesley: 'Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all places you can.'"
The Mediterranean Hope project is the Mediterranean observatory on migration based in Lampedusa, the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy