Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Harvest Festival Giving for Calais Refugees

Mark Bond, Rector of St Brelade, was speaking on BBC radio Jersey yesterday evening. This is a transcript made by me of what he said - any errors are mine:

Mark Bond on Harvest Festival Giving for Calais Refugees

The Focus of Harvest Festival this year for St Brelade’s Church and St Aubin on the Hill is to donate items to help those stranded in Calais.

I felt that it was about time our churches did something about it; it is an immediate problem. This decision received overwhelming support from both churches.

Harvest is a time when we think of the plenty we have. It’s a way of saying we have to help care for the poor. In this case, to do something very immediate to us all.

At the camp, which is called “the jungle”, there are only about 4 standpipes, so little water – hence tins, pussles, vegetables, tinned soup, fish, tea, jam, UHT milk - rather than dry food. Also clean blankets, duvets and clothing.

Collection point – St Aubin on the Hill Church – Church open.

There is no time scale, but there will be a Harvest Festival at St Aubin Sunday 20th and St Brelade on 27th Bay church. Both churches will be collecting for those services, then pass on to Bram and Sophie for the Jersey Calais Refugee Aid Group be taken to be taken to Calais.

A lot of people who have suffered in Iraq and Syria have been Christian communities. Quite a lot of the migrants we see are in fact Christians. They would be executed by the ISIS state, so they’ve had to leave in a hurry.

It may not be very large. We see these massive things going on in the world, and we don’t know where to start. But if we can just feed some people, we are doing something towards helping them, whether from a faith base or a humanitarian base. It’s the least we can do for our fellow human beings.

"The Lord upholds the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and befriends the stranger, providing him with food and clothing. You too must befriend the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt." Deut 10:18-19

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