Camera captures the back and profile of Bishop John Arnold as he enters Salford Cathedral. He is wearing white vestments and his amaranth zucchetto

Bishop calls us to be “instruments of peace and wellbeing”

Tuesday 18th June 2024

This week, we mark Refugee Week 2024 with the theme “Our Home”.  This week of awareness is an opportunity to reflect more deeply on the experiences of people displaced as a result of war, persecution, or economic exclusion and how we can stand with them in love and unity.

In his message for the occasion, Bishop John calls us to stop and think about the number of refugees and displaced people in our world today, and what we can do in the face of such an appalling situation.

An unimaginable number

“The Global Refugee Forum estimates that there are now 130 million refugees and displaced people in our world. That is a number that is difficult even to imagine”, he said.

Bishop John highlighted that “a refugee has no security of home, livelihood, safety, or healthcare. Refugees are deprived of their very dignity as people, as children of God, made in His image. Many live in constant fear of violence and exploitation. Child refugees are deprived of the security of a stable home and family and education.”

A call to prayer and action

In the face of such staggering figures and heart-rending accounts, it can be so easy to feel overwhelmed and powerless but Bishop John reminds us there is hope to be found in prayer and taking even the smallest of actions.

He said: “We need to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit – that political leaders may confront the scandal of conflict and climate change that deprive people of their dignity.

“We need to pray for the end to hostilities and for the understanding that wars do not lead to human progress, but create hatred and barriers to any form of progress.”

He pointed out that caring for our common home will reduce the numbers of people forced into migration, stressing that we are all entrusted to be stewards of creation, called to live in fellowship with all our brothers and sisters as a global family.

“May each one of us, in whatever small ways, be instruments for building peace and well-being for all. May we help to ensure the dignity of those around us, of every person that God places in our lives, which is a fundamental truth of our Catholic Social Teaching.”

Taking Action

From prayer and petitions, to campaigning and fundraisings, there are so many ways you can make a difference to our brothers and sisters around the world and here in our own diocese. 

Our diocesan Charity, Caritas Salford, has put together a wealth of resources to help groups, parishes, schools, families, and individuals get involved however they can. Please visit the Caritas Salford special Refugee Week page to find out more.


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