Archbishop of Canterbury takes in Syrian refugee family to encourage others

A Syrian refugee family is being housed in an empty property in the grounds of Lambeth Palace, the archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has confirmed.

Welby and the British Home Office took the initiative in an attempt to encourage members of the public, community groups, faith groups, charities and businesses to sponsor refugee families resettling in the UK.

The full community sponsorship scheme is intended to help the government fulfil its commitment to resettle 20,000 Syrian refugees in the UK before 2020.

About 1,800 refugees have been resettled so far, less than 10% of the total.

Over the past year there have been numerous ad hoc and sometimes chaotic efforts by community groups and members of the public to provide aid to refugees waiting to come to the UK.

Donations of food, clothing, books and household goods, plus offers of accommodation in spare rooms, have overwhelmed social action groups.

Launching the Syrian refugee scheme at Lambeth Palace, the home secretary, Amber Rudd, said: “The response of the British public to the refugee crisis has been one of overwhelming generosity and many have been moved to make kind offers of assistance.”

She said the sponsorship scheme was “a groundbreaking development for resettlement in the UK and I wholeheartedly encourage organisations that can help to offer their support”.


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