There’s no room at the inn.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been involved with several zoom video conferences about the plight of the refugees stuck in London.
In usual circumstances refugees arrive at the port (in this case Heathrow) and are housed in temporary accommodation (generally B&Bs) before being re-located to a more permeant home elsewhere in the country.
Since the start of the COVID outbreak and the subsequent lockdowns people have been trapped in B&Bs, temporary accommodation and now ‘contingency hotels’. There are currently the better part of 3000 people housed in these places in North West London alone.
It’s hard not to draw a parallel with the nativity story and wondering what it must feel like to not be wanted. In North West London there are not enough school places, not enough give in the health system and not enough food, clothing and other essentials to go around.
Several charities have been doing their best to support the refugees but things are starting to break. People are going hungry, they are wearing their only set of clothes and they are isolated and alone.
We at St. Anselm can reach out of these people in the coming weeks of Advent. Indeed – it is a Gospel demand that we do so. I’ll be asking you for specific things (clothing, shoes, toys) next week to take to hotels near us. I’ll be asking churches near other centres housing refugees to do the same and I know – without a shadow of a doubt – that our community will rally and that there wont be a single child who doesn’t get a present this Christmas, who goes hungry, who feels alone and not wanted.
The children’s Christmas card’s are now available to buy in church. They are £6 a pack of 12 (very reasonable!). You can pay in cash in church or via PayPal / Bank Transfer (ask Fr. Matthew for the details).
Please keep hold of your stamps for the RNIB Christmas Campaign, a box will soon appear in church to collect them. Please ask Susan Chick for details.