Monthly blog

From the Vicar_October 2015

Posted by on Sunday, October 11, 2015 Under: Vicar's Monthly Letters
Hello all,

I am writing this in the midst of the huge migrant crisis in Europe at present. Thinking a lot about it, I believe it is not for me to preach at the people and government of this country about what should be done. After all, I am a guest in this country. I have a foreign passport and was born and brought up abroad. I first came to this country as an overseas student, and yes, I paid higher fees than British students, but my years at university were still subsidised by the UK. Then some years later I returned and have lived here ever since, and have been extremely happy here. I am delighted that as a clergyman I hope I can give back something of all that I have received from this country and its people.

So I look at the migrants coming into Europe as one who has been welcomed in. I did not arrive as an asylum seeker, but the country I grew up in - Zimbabwe - is in crisis, and I am fortunate that I left when I did. On TV and the radio the point that the migrants make again and again is "We are human". People with families somewhere, people with stories, people clinging to hope, people fighting despair. It has been moving to see how British attitudes, so anti-immigrant up until recently, have been changing as the stories of these migrants have been coming out, and compassion has been softening people.

ORDINARY PEOPLE MATTER. That has been my overriding motivator in my years as a Christian - and people are awkward, cause us inconvenience, don't go the way we think they should; but people matter. The Bible teaches this very bluntly, and that is what the public has been feeling in the last few weeks. At the same time, a wave of emotionalism isn't the answer either, it has to be grounded in sense; what is right with the heart needs to be right with the head too.

So I will not speak out on this issue, but will keep looking for what I can do to help - they could easily have been me.

Best wishes to you,

PS. I was at a diocesan conference this week and there was much discussion with Bishop James about the migrants crisis and how we could help. There is a lot getting going in the whole of the Church of England and in this diocese which we will be invited to join in as soon as it has been thought through.

In : Vicar's Monthly Letters 



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