Guardian Series – Reverend offers home as sanctuary for fleeing migrants

A reverend will offer his home as a sanctuary to refugees fleeing crisis in the Middle East as part of a joint effort among churches to house 50 families in the borough.

Chingford Parish rector Andy Trenier of Ss Peter and St Paul in The Green, has joined bishops from across east London and Essex as part of a London Citizens campaign to find 5,000 homes for Syrian refugees.

The father-of-three, who is expecting his fourth child, has teamed up with parish churches across Chingford, local schools and scouting organisations to raise funds, free up housing stock and deliver aid to those seeking refuge in Europe.

Hundreds of pounds have already been raised during services in the past week, and Rev’d Trenier is visiting Chingford C of E infant and junior school this week to promote Project Paddington.

Project Paddington plans to send teddy bears to refugee children with notes and pictures from local children.

Rev’d Trenier said there is a “moral imperative” to act now.

He said: “I joined the bishops’ lead on this to get the London Borough of Waltham Forest to house 50 families.

“As a community we need to do everything we can to help the council do their job.

“50 families is not a lot in a borough with a quarter of a million people.

“My family have offered two of our rooms at The Rectory – we will make whatever we have available.

“The crisis is getting closer to home.

“I understand public services are stretched and we are in the midst of a housing crisis, but if you take a look inside homes in Chingford and Walthamstow, there are rooms available.

“We also calling on private landlords to resettle refugees.”

David Cameron announced this week that Britain will take 20,000 refugees over the next parliament, but questions have been raised over the length of stay for refugee children.

“Rescuing 20,000 is a move in the right direction but there are a whole of questions still unanswered,” added Rev’d Trenier.

“David Cameron needs to be moving ahead of the curve – not catching up on it.”


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