Welcoming refugees was an important discussion topic for All Saints’, Palmerston North parishioners as we worked through the “Generous Hospitality” Lenten study material.
Reverend Canon Sue Fordyce shared a letter she planned to send to local MPs in which she urged an immediate doubling of our annual quota to 1500 refugees. Realising that there would be greater impact if the letter was signed by more than just one person, we circulated it at parish services over a three-week period and collected 125 signatures. Reverend John Hornblow, Christine Edwards (a parishioner with responsibility for refugee care) and Jenny Hornblow delivered the letter and passed on our collective concerns about the current quota to our local MPs (Iain Lees-Galloway, Labour; Jono Naylor, National; and Darroch Ball, NZ First), and invited them to our Refugee Service and international dinner on 3 July.
We were well-received by the MPs who have all agreed to attend the service and expressed an interest in engaging further with our congregation on this issue. If your parish would like to do something similar we’re happy to share a copy of our letter with you. Contact John on email for more information.