Methodists Lead Community Sponsorship

The Methodist Church in Birmingham and Birmingham City Councilmade a landmark announcement on Saturday, 12 September that thecity council will be the first local authority to support thecommunity sponsorship of Syrian refugees.
The Methodist Network, led by Rev David Butterworth, will besponsoring a family of four - with the support of the city counciland the Home Office - as part of the council leader's commitment towelcome 500 refugees over the next five years.

Cllr Zaffar said: "I welcome the offer of the Methodist Network tosponsor a refugee family and I have written to the Home Officeconfirming the city council's support. At this stage we aretreating this as a pilot scheme as we need to monitor how thisworks before committing to further sponsorship applications, butthis is a great first step.

"What is happening in Syria is a human catastrophe and it is onlyright that we do all we can to offer shelter to people fleeing fortheir lives, something Birmingham has a proud history of. We willcontinue to work with partners to ensure refugees coming toBirmingham are settled and able to integrate into the city andstart a new life here."
Methodist Minister the Rev David Butterworth commented: "To beable to provide a safe welcome to a refugee family is a wonderfulprivilege.  The Methodist Church has worked very closely withBirmingham City Council to arrive at this point. We have also beensupported greatly by CitizensUK, and by the National RefugeeWelcome Board and locally encouraged by the Progressive JewishCommunity and Sisters of Mercy Birmingham and not least by the HomeOffice.  

"We hope that this family will be the first of many fleeing warsand horrors abroad that the Church can provide with sanctuary andlove. We will be working alongside Birmingham City Council and theHome Office to provide support for further families and encouragingother organisations to join the Community Sponsorshipscheme."

Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill, said: "The response of theBritish public to the refugee crisis has been one of overwhelminggenerosity and many have been moved to make kind offers ofassistance. We are on track and delivering our commitment to help20,000 of the most vulnerable Syrians displaced by theconflict.

"The Community Sponsorship scheme is helping bring communitiestogether to support these often traumatised families as theyrebuild their lives, and begin to contribute to and thrive in ourcountry.

"I am delighted to hear that the Methodist Church is taking partin the scheme, with the full support of Birmingham City Council,and I wholeheartedly encourage other organisations that can help tooffer their support."