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New Christian charity helps churches address refugee crisis

Thu 14 Sep 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

A new charity has been launched dedicated to equipping local churches to help refugees settle and rebuild their lives in the UK.

Welcome Churches was formed in response to Europe's growing refugee crisis.

The initiative builds on the success of its founding church, Community Church Derby, which has helped welcome over 1,200 refugees in Derby to integrate into the community and many into church life as well.

Karina Martin - founder and executive director of Welcome Churches - told Premier that from the experience in Derby she's believes the Church ought "to celebrate the different cultures God has brought to us as a nation" and learn "how to be good news to those who have experienced a lot of trauma and a lot of loss".

She added: "From our conversations with other organisations we have identified a real need from churches all across the UK to receive practical support to welcome refugees."

She said churches who decide to connect with the charity will get a free review so they can know who has arrived in their community.

Martin explained: "Then there's a team…we do some planning with you and we do some training with you at your church to help you get started.

"No matter where a church is located, there are now ways to engage whether that is through connecting with asylum seekers, refugees or those arriving through the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Programme.

"We want to help churches identify what opportunities are available to them, and how they can respond."

Listen to Karina Martin speaking with Premier's Paul Hagger here:

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