Bishop Martin Seeley and his family are offering their home to Ukrainian refugees fleeing their war torn country - and urging others in the county to do all they can to help too.
Bishop Martin and his family have registered to welcome Ukrainian refugees as soon as possible in to their home in Ipswich. His offer comes as Michael Gove, the communities secretary, has unveiled a new 'sponsored' humanitarian scheme to allow Britons to open their homes to Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion.
Homeowners can from this week register their interest to host a refugee, even ones without ties to the UK.
As refugees from Ukraine poured over the border into Poland, homeowners in European Union countries where visa restrictions have been waived are throwing open their doors preparing to receive them. More than 4.5 million people have been displaced since the invasion of Ukraine on February 24, with 2.5 million refugees fleeing the country, according to the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR. The Church of England has also produced a toolkit bringing together advice on how individuals, churches and communities can offer practical support to the people of Ukraine.
The initiative has been produced in response to the overwhelming number of enquiries from churches concerned about the Ukraine situation and asking what they can do to help them.
Bishop Martin said: “We have taken a decision as a family to open our home like others have, to refugees fleeing the Ukraine and look forward to welcoming them as soon as possible into our house. Not everyone will be able to offer rooms in their homes, but there are many ways to help. Still one of the best ways we can help is by donating to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). The diocese has partnered with World Vision, a member of the DEC and urge people to donate online here. We must keep supporting those living in Ukraine too. We need a community-wide response of welcome and support and I urge everyone to do all they possibly can amid this humanitarian crisis.”
The refugee toolkit is a really valuable resource for anyone wanting to help in practical ways with supporting refugees. The helpful advice document, which contains a variety of information and includes details of partner organisations that can help communities in how they respond. For full details about donating, supporting refugees, links to the toolkit and our prayers please visit our website here.
Photography credit: Keith Mindham.