Newtown vicar hits out at attitudes to refugees

Reporter:

Staff reporter (County Times)

A VICAR has hit back at people in Newtown for their attitude towards refugees being re-settled in the town.

A number of families have now been re-homed in the town, from war-torn areas.

Since the council asked a councillor to look into the town having ‘city of sanctuary status’ there has been a backlash from certain quarters in the town.

In a letter to the County Times, the Rev Canon Nia Wyn Morris said she was writing on behalf of herself and concerned parishioners, and hit back at a previous letter which said ‘try sending immigrants to Cornwall’.

She said: “We are proud that our community here in Newtown has responded to the Home Office’s directive to assist in a humanitarian crisis and offer accommodation to families.

“Churches, chapels, community groups and many others have all supported the call for compassion and we want Newtown to be a place of welcome, support, hospitality and safety for those who seek sanctuary among us.

“No-one chooses to leave their home, risk a flimsy dinghy-sailing and a perilous journey hoping to find a safe haven. Let’s put ourselves in their shoes and consider how dreadful our circumstances would have to be here in Newtown for us to have to do the same for the safety of our families.

“Desperate times of war, call for desperate decisions and the least we can do, especially those of us who are Christians, is show compassion.”

The Rev Morris said she knows people in the community needed support, but called for people to support everyone, and doesn’t want Newtown to be ‘closed for lack of compassion’.

She added: “Yes, there are those in our community who need help, support and compassion too and as Christians I hope we offer that to everyone, at all times, regardless of circumstances.

“If not, we may as well lock up, throw away the key and nail a sign to the door of our community and town saying – ‘Closed for a lack of compassion’.”

“I for one, don’t want that for Newtown and I suspect many others don’t either,” she added.

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