Friday, 19 June 2009

Action from 10 Ways - Adopting a Civil Servant...

People are already getting in on the act and using '10 Ways for Citizens to Save Sanctuary'.

One of the 10 Ways is to show care and concern for the civil servants who make difficult decisions on who should be granted sanctuary and who should not.

In our churches for the two Sundays in Refugee Week we are using a prayer remembering those who seek sanctuary here, but also those working at the UK Border Agency.

Tim Clapton, Development Chaplain at Milton Keynes Mission Partnership, said:
"I am really happy the Churches of Milton Keynes are taking part in the collective prayer for people seeking sanctuary and for those making the life-and-death decisions at the UK Border Agency. It's more important now than ever for us to celebrate the diversity of our communities and our proud tradition of offering sanctuary for people fleeing persecution."

Rev Bruce Stokes from Wood Grange Baptist Church, London said:
“I can't think that anybody wants a naive, open border policy, but I do think that I am in the majority when I ask that British politicians should be world leaders when it comes to establishing a fair process, and that British immigration officers should be absolutely fair-minded in implementing that process. I would want nothing less if I were seeking sanctuary.”

Father John Clark will also be using the prayer at Our Lady of Mount Carmel and St Joseph Catholic Church, London. Father John said:
"We should not forget that Jesus Christ was a refugee. I wonder how Mary and Joseph would be treated if they were to seek sanctuary here today? We must remember in our prayers the refugees who need our protection, but also the civil servants who have to make life-or-death decisions on our behalf."

Sr Ruth O'Neill, DC, Cardiff said:
'I hope that Churches, in cities and towns throughout the UK, will pray this prayer in Refugee week. Working closely with people seeking safety, I have heard their sincere and desperate longing for peace. It is vital that we pray too, for those who have that difficult job of working at UKBA and for all of us, as we also share the responsibility to welcome the stranger; protect those in danger and enjoy the differences we discover.'

Here's the prayer:

Almighty God,
we give you thanks for every way
in which we experience Britain
as a place of diversity, safety and opportunity.

We pray for all who have come to this country
in search of a welcome, and for the persecuted
who have come in search of sanctuary.

We pray for those in the UK Border Agency
who have the responsibility, freely to admit
those who have a right to be admitted,
and resolutely to protect our borders
from those who wish us harm.

May they have wisdom, fair-mindedness
and pride, in the difficult and important work
they do on our behalf.

We pray that the tradition of providing sanctuary
to those forced to flee their homes through persecution,
may be preserved; and may each of us as citizens
show hospitality to refugees who are among us now,
and so safeguard the concept of sanctuary for the future.

May the communities we belong to
thrive in diversity and peace,
and may our citizenship in the UK,
reflect the open and inclusive citizenship of heaven.

Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord.

Amen

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