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Church of Ireland Primate expresses support for World Refugee Day

The Church of Ireland’s Primate of All Ireland, Archbishop John McDowell, has added his support for World Refugee Day, which takes place today, Tuesday (20th June 2023).  This follows on from the General Synod’s support for countering hatred against refugees and other migrants and for communicating a strong message of Christian welcome to all.

Archbishop McDowell stated: “It is very appropriate that the theme for this year’s World Refugee Day is ‘hope away from home’ and I am grateful to everyone who, by their words and actions, brings hope to people who are seeking a new home on the island of Ireland.

“In offering our welcome, we give our new neighbours here the opportunity to share hope through how they contribute their sense of community, skills and insight into our society today.  The Church of Ireland, alongside others, can trace its spiritual roots back to one migrant who brought with him the hope of Jesus Christ and left a legacy which positively shaped the story of this land and Europe through the following centuries.

He added: “Listening to the voices of all with mutual respect for the dignity of the individual should be the beginning for all our conversations.  As communities across Ireland face daily pressures from housing shortages and the slow erosion of living standards, there is room for everyone to be part of making progress in meeting those challenges.  Committed service, respectful listening, and the fair and consistent delivery of service by all who lead in government and the private sector, can help to make Ireland a better place of welcome and potential for each person who calls our island their home.”

The Church of Ireland General Synod, its governing body, approved the following resolution in support of refugees and other migrants on Saturday, 13th May, during its 2023 meeting in Wexford:

‘That the General Synod acknowledges the impact of anti–refugee and migrant hatred in our communities and requests the Honorary Secretaries to write to Diocesan Councils on behalf of the Primate’s Ethnic Diversity, Inclusion and Racial Justice Reference Group seeking suggestions regarding ways in which the Church can counter the language of anti–refugee and migrant hatred at the local level and communicate a strong message of Christian welcome to all.’

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