By ACNS staff
The co-ordinator of the Anglican Communion’s newest international Network, the Anglican Refugee and Migrant Network (ARMN), is looking to connect with dioceses around the world.
A letter sent to nearly 800 diocesan bishops by the Revd Terrie Robinson, in her role as Anglican Communion’s Networks’ Co-ordinator, introduced ARMN’s new co-ordinator, the Revd Catherine Graham, and asked them to share with her insights and information from their dioceses about issues of refugees or migration.1
“Across the Anglican Communion, church communities are supporting migrants, internally displaced people and refugees in many different ways,” wrote Mrs Robinson.2 “To help Catherine understand how best to facilitate networking among Anglicans who are involved in such mission and ministry, and to enhance international awareness and support of local initiatives, we would like to ask for your assistance.
“Catherine would be very grateful to receive as much information as you are able to offer in respect of migrants, internally displaced people and refugees in your diocese or area. This might include a description of the local situation with any available statistics, together with an account of particular challenges faced locally by children, women and men who are now living away from their country or place of origin – and also by host communities.
“She would also value any information you are able to give concerning the church’s mission and ministry among, or on behalf of migrants, internally displaced people and refugees. This work might cover a broad range, for example, helping congregations to become aware of global situations giving rise to the displacement of people and the gospel imperative to respond to those in need; providing pastoral care and opportunities for worship for new arrivals; offering practical support.”
Mrs Robinson explained that it would be very useful to know of any engagement with local government and agencies, and with international structures or agencies on these matters. She also requested if someone in the diocese could be identified as a local point of contact for Mrs Graham.2
ARMN was formally re-established by the Anglican Consultative Council when it met in 2009 and among its plans are setting up a website for the Network within the Anglican Communion portal at www.anglicancommunion.org, and the formation of a global management committee, representative of the Communion, to help steer its activities.
The Network’s objectives are:
- To share information, ideas and experience, and to provide affirmation and mutual support for front-line programme-workers and programme-managers working with refugees and migrants on behalf of the Anglican Church through the creation of an active informal network.
- To provide, when appropriate, practice-based information and briefing to the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Primates, other Anglican Church leaders, and the Anglican Observer to the UN, to inform and strengthen their prophetic, advocacy and pastoral work on behalf of refugees and migrants;
- To promote awareness, concern and commitment to action within dioceses and parishes, to the benefit of local refugees and migrants;
- To encourage and collaborate with the wider ecumenical family and other faiths in promoting active ministry to refugees and migrants;
- To help tackle the root causes contributing to the creation of refugees and migrants through advocacy;
- To network with other institutions working on behalf of refugees and migrants; and,
- To develop and share theological reflection on the causes, issues and consequences relating to refugees and migrants.
For more information contact the Revd Terrie Robinson on firstname.lastname@example.org or the Revd Catherine Graham at email@example.com
Notes to Editor
- The Anglican Province of Hong Kong appointed the Revd Catherine Graham as co-ordinator for ARMN based at St John’s cathedral in Hong Kong. Catherine has ten years’ experience of working on issues of migrant labour in the Gulf states of the Middle East. Catherine’s role as ARMN coordinator is to support the implementation of the Network’s objectives and, in the process, to support information sharing, consultation and action on refugee and migration issues within the Anglican Communion. Catherine will also look for opportunities to collaborate with the Anglican Alliance for Development, Relief and Advocacy, and to engage with ecumenical partners, United Nations and other agencies.
- Using ‘the Reverend’ for ordained clergy followed by Mr or Mrs is standard practice for English clergy.
- Conflict, persecution, climate change and environmental degradation, natural disaster, and the global financial crisis have led to unprecedented movement of people across the world. United Nations figures show that in 2010 there were 214 million migrants. There are also 27.5 million internally displaced people and 15.4 million refugees worldwide. This means that about one in every 28 persons in the world is a migrant, internally displaced person or refugee.