We continue to pray and care and mourn for the situation in Ukraine.
I have had several conversations with people who might want to offer a room or some rooms to refugees, and others who would support people moving into the community, and had really good chats about what we could do as a parish. The ministers of Churches Together in Wokingham agreed that we would work together, and liaise with local charities and the Council to make sure that we are as efficient and effective as we can possibly be with our resources and energy and time. I feel as if the right conversations are happening but it is hard to see exactly what things will look like in a month or six months which makes planning hard. I feel strongly that we should, as individuals making up the church here, be informing ourselves, and registering for information, and offering what we can, and doing what we can, so that when the picture settles we are ready to go and confident in what we are doing. So thank you for what you have offered and done- do keep up to date with what is happening- and when things start to happen, let’s make sure we are doing it together- it might be one family who welcome the refugees into their home but we will need to ensure that they feel welcomed into the community of the Church and the town and that they have everything they need. We can do that together. And if anyone feels that we are missing a trick, or that you want to do something, or organise something, then please do let me know.
Richard Lamey: Rector
On a national level, this section on the national Church of England website is really clear and really helpful:
People wanting to donate can send money to either of these two funds: the DEC received £1,000 from the parish last week, following on from our collection after services at P and N:
Also, Krish Kandiah, the excellent Christian minister who has done amazing work around adoption and fostering by founding Home for Good, has set up Sanctuary Foundation: Sanctuary Foundation | Supporting New Arrivals from Ukraine
And locally, in Wokingham and Reading, the Cowshed have issued this appeal:
We have already been approached by 3 potential host families to provide support for Ukrainian refugees and we are anticipating many more requests over the coming weeks. Therefore we are launching an appeal in partnership with Care4Calais, Citizens Advice Wokingham, Citizens Advice Reading and The Hygiene Bank Reading to provide support for refugees with clothing, essential items and advice. Our aim is to show love and support to those arriving in Berkshire by working together with local organisations. We are asking for support please with the following: Donations of good quality clothing and shoes for all ages and sizes that we will then wash and iron. Donations of good quality school uniform. Donations of good quality sheets, duvet covers and towels. Unopened toiletries, sanitary products, nappies. Financial donations Purchase of essential items from our Amazon wishlist: (https://www.amazon.co.uk/hz/wishlist/ls/ZUMH3LRIY1Y0…)
We are so grateful for anything you can donate to support us with this campaign Drop off centre:Unit 2, Bennet Court, Bennet Road, RG2 0QXMonday to Thursday and Saturday 10-3
For any families or individuals hosting Ukrainian refugees in need of support please see our link to a specific referral form below: https://www.thecowshed.org/ukrainian-refugee-referral-form/
You are also invided to review this post on the St Paul’s website: #313: a focus on prayer and reading around Ukraine – St Paul’s Parish (spauls.co.uk)