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Reform Magazine | December 1, 2023

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Welcome strangers

Welcome strangers

Emily Shepherd introduces the Welcome Network

Refugees and people seeking asylum have been right at the top of the news agenda recently. With church leaders and football pundits alike wading into debates over national policy, sometimes it can feel like we on the ground are powerless to make a difference. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Life as a refugee or person seeking asylum is a scary and precarious existence. Imagine your life is suddenly stripped from your own hands, your identity almost forgotten. Your future is now at the mercy of others, and you have little or no control over your present. The disorientation would be unfathomable. Forced to leave everything behind and travel to an unknown country where you have no idea where you will lay your head or whether others will speak your language, is a fragile existence.

There is a longing for stability and somewhere to put down roots. As Christians, I believe that when we open our hearts to become a welcoming community to refugees and people seeking asylum, it reflects God’s heart and his mercy and compassion…

Emily Shepherd is Joint CEO of Welcome Churches. For more information on Welcome Churches go to


This is an extract from an article published in the July/August 2023 edition of Reform

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