Last Saturday afternoon was the welcome lunch for the second intake of refugees into Wellington that included Syrian Refugees. The news from Syria last weekend contained reports about renewed fighting in Alleppo with a hospital being hit by a missile strike, so the joy of the gathering was tempered a little.
This was the second intake where the churches, coordinated by Catholic Social Services and the Anglicans were asked to supply the household goods necessary to set up all the refugee homes. This intake was smaller than the last one that we assisted with in February: 10 households as opposed to 26. 10 households is a more usual size for an intake in to Wellington.
For the refugee intake in February we had sought to gather very specific lists of household goods – no furniture was required just the items to set up kitchens, etc. We needed to be specific and collect only what we have been asked for because no one has space to store large amounts of things we might need.
The February intake saw us receive a large amount of additional material that was already in storage with various Red Cross volunteers and from some parishes who thought we might need some extra stuff. Short term storage was found for some of this, and this meant that we needed to ask for very little from our parishes to support the just completed April intake.
Our assistance with February and April’s intakes was so successful that we have been asked by the Red Cross to provide this assistance on an ongoing basis. SO from now on we will need your ongoing support – BUT we estimate that with the projected size of the intakes and the number of parishes and clusters signalling that they would like to assist, it may be that you are asked for that assistance with a household set up once or maybe twice in a year.
This ongoing work will be managed for the Diocese by Reverend Kay Website, Vicar of Wadestown. Parishes have been asked to register their interest in supporting this work. Thank you to those who have done so, but if you have yet to do so, please contact Kay as soon as possible:
Reverend Kay Webster
Vicar in the Parish of Wadestown
021 268 5355
Archdeacon Stephen King,
Archdeacon for Wellington and Social Justice Enabler