“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.”Hebrews 13:2
Over the last few years, one of the Leigh Road Baptist Church (LRBC) minister’s, Rev Steve Tinning, has been working alongside the charity ‘Safe Passage’ to campaign for more vulnerable and unaccompanied refugee children to be welcomed into the UK.
Last Autumn they organised 1000 people to come together at Friends House to hear from Kindertransport refugees who were rescued by the UK from the threat of Nazi persecution and death camps. Today, in the face of unprecedented numbers of refugees worldwide, we are left to consider how, 80 years on, now it is our turn to show compassion to some of the most vulnerable young lives in the world. 80 years ago we welcomed 10,000 children and young people in one year at a time of tremendous austerity as we were on the brink of war – now we are asking the government to welcome 10,000 child refugees over 10 years.
To accomplish this Steve, alongside other campaigners for Safe Passage, have been asking their councils to pledge space for the refugees should the government open up a safe and legal route. If every council in the country would welcome 30 children – that’s just three a year over the 10 years – then we’d have space for all 10,000. So far almost 1200 places have been pledged, including 30 in Southend.
At the end of June, Steve joined numerous other faith leaders, campaigners, refugees, councillors and politicians outside parliament to ask the government to open safe and legal passage for these children. He was joined by the leader of Southend Council, Cllr. Ian Gilbert, who publicly reiterated Southend’s pledge, and met with Southend West MP, Sir David Amess, who also expressed his support of the campaign.
If you would like to know more about how you can support refugees in Southend or about the wider national campaign, please get in touch with Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
See more about the day here: