Following the death of 27 migrants whose boat capsized near Calais when they were attempting to make the Channel crossing on 24th November, Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees issued the following statement:
‘Everyone knew refugees were crossing the Channel in unseaworthy craft. It happened yesterday and the day before and in increasing numbers in recent weeks. It will happen again tomorrow and will continue unless determined concerted action is taken immediately.
'Concern for and a desire to protect refugees from life-threatening danger is our duty at all times, not only when a tragedy occurs. Yesterday’s loss of life is a reminder of the desperation of those who are willing to risk everything as they seek a better life in a desire to escape appalling experiences and circumstances.
'A remedy needs to be found immediately to prevent more tragedies and, at the same time, address the underlying causes which force refugees to flee their homeland, war, poverty, persecution and climate change need to recognised and addressed.
'The depth and sincerity of belief in the value and sanctity of every human life will be seen in the response to what happened yesterday. May those who perished rest in peace.’
Caritas Westminster are hosting a session an event on the Community Sponsorship Scheme on 9th December for those wishing to find out more about opportunities to welcome refugees.