Home for a Syrian Refugee Family in the Archdiocese of Cardiff

By Archbishop George Stack

Although the traumatic suffering of the people of Syria and the surrounding area has been removed from our TV screens because of other major world events, hundreds of thousands of displaced families are still enduring indescribable hardships in that war torn region.

We may feel threatened in this country for a few days by freezing temperatures and thundersnow but can retreat to secure and warm homes. People in refugee camps, deprived of the most basic human needs, have no such luxury. We can hardly conceive of the sub zero temperatures they have to endure as well as so many other deprivations.

I am grateful to a number of people in the Diocese who are working with the U.K government and the local authorities to provide a home for at least one refugee family in our midst.

There are a number of vacant presbyteries which have been examined as suitable for such accommodation and negotiations are in hand to make one available to a Syrian refugee family in great need. Proper legal, pastoral, emotional, educational and financial support will also be put in place to ensure the stability and security of the family.

Language tuition, toys, clothes, furniture and other necessities will also be required in due time.

There have already been generous responses to this initiative. I propose that this year’s Lenten Alms and proceeds from Lenten lunches should be allocated to our Syrian Refugee Family Project. Other suggestions are welcome.

Donations for the Syrian Refugee Family project may be sent to:
Archbishop’s House 41-43 Cathedral Road Cardiff CF11 9HD

A number of people have asked for a copy of the poem I used in my Christmas reflection. It is called ‘Refugee’ by Matthew Guite.

Refugee

We think of him as safe beneath the steeple,
Or cosy in a crib beside the font,
But he is with a million displaced people
On the long road of weariness and want.

For even as we sing our final carol
His family is up and on that road,
Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel,
Glancing behind and shouldering their load.

Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower
Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled,
The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power,
And death squads spread their curse across the world.

But every Herod dies, and comes alone
To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.

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