Statement by the Right Reverend Patrick McKinney, Catholic Bishop of Nottingham
and the Right Reverend Paul Williams, Anglican Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham
As Bishops, and together with leaders of Christian Churches and other faiths in Nottinghamshire, we encourage the people of our city and county to stand in solidarity with all those who are seeking refuge from countries torn apart by conflict, and to offer them a warm welcome.
For Christians, a vital part of our faith is offering compassion to those who are in need and recognising the fundamental dignity of every human being. Christians are not just asked to pray for others, but to be generous in giving to support and welcome those who are in need.
In a statement on the refugee crisis facing Europe and the Middle East, the Archbishop of Canterbury said, ‘We need a holistic response to this crisis that meets immediate humanitarian need while tackling its underlying drivers.’ For some, that will mean following Pope Francis’ suggestion of welcoming refugees to their homes. For others, it will mean responding positively to appeals, at a national, regional and local level, for money and clothing to give to those who have nothing. We hope that people will be creative in working together across the whole community to do whatever they can to help the refugees who have suffered so much. Many churches have already taken up the opportunity to respond in practical and creative ways.
As a nation, we cannot and should not turn our backs on the needs of so many people, whoever they are and wherever they are from. This country has a proud history of offering hospitality and aid to those who are in need. Our Churches will play their full part in calling upon the Government and local authorities to do as much as possible to welcome refugees to this country, and to work with them to support in practical ways those who settle here.
Rt Rev Paul Williams Rt Rev Patrick McKinney
Bishop of Southwell & Nottingham Bishop of Nottingham
10th September 2015