Meeting with the staff and clients of Coventry Refugee and Migrant Centre, Archbishop Justin spoke of the joy of seeing such practical work of reconciliation in action.
A huge banner proclaims ‘Refugees welcome here’, and every individual who arrives fleeing war, persecution and conflict can find peace and sanctuary, receive help with housing, employment, education, and finding their way through the process involved in becoming part of the community.
People from many parts of the world including Sudan, Congo, and Eritrea as well as Syria use the centre, and Coventry has welcomed more Syrians than any other city. The Director of the centre, Sabir Zazai, is himself a former refugee.
The Archbishop was moved by the work of the staff in enabling those who have suffered to find healing and a sense of belonging.
He said: “It’s been an inspiring day seeing how generously Coventry is welcoming Syrian refugees. These are people who are coming from some of the worst suffering anywhere in the world at the moment. Coventry has a tradition of doing this – it’s a city of peace and reconciliation. Having lived and served here I know Coventry is a city that will welcome them, and will also find they contribute hugely to its future.”