On Songs of Praise & Calais: No home on earth have I, No nation owns my soul.

You have to watch this episode of Songs of Praise which features the church in Calais.  It reminds us of the following:

  1.  My identity as a Christian (and Salvationist) comes before my nationality.  Check out these words from Salvationist hero George Scott Railton (1849-1913) in The Salvation Army Songbook:  No home on earth have I,
    No nation owns my soul,
    My dwelling place is the Most High,
    I’m under his control.
    O’er all the earth alike,
    My Father’s grand domain,
    Each land and sea with him alike
    O’er all he yet shall reign.No place on earth I own,
    No field, no house be mine;
    Myself, my all I still disown,
    My God, let all be thine.
    Into thy gracious hands
    My life is ever placed;
    To die fulfilling thy commands,
    I march with bounding haste.With thee, my God, is home;
    With thee is endless joy;
    With thee in ceaseless rest I roam;
    With thee, can death destroy?
    With thee, the east, the west,
    The north, the south are one;
    The battle’s front I love the best,
    And yet: thy will be done.
  2. Salvationists should welcome foreigners in the same way we were welcomed in North Greenwich at Boundless 2015
  3. On matters of the common good, the Left and Right can agree, even if Power cannot comprehend the basic, human compassion that is compelled by Christ’s real presence.
  4. Even though we know church is people and community, there is something important about setting aside a specific space to commune with God.  
  5. Its been great to see the free church statement signed by The Revd Steve Wild (President of the Methodist Conference), Dr Jill Barber (Vice-President of the Methodist Conference), The Revd Lynn Green (General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain), The Revd David Grosch-Miller (Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church), and The Rt Revd Angus Morrison (Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland), the Catholic statement from Bishop Patrick Lynch and another from Bishop Mark Stenger, the Jewish statement signed by 200 people including 20 rabbis, and the statement from the Bishop of Dover,  the Right Rev Trevor Willmot.
  6. While The Salvation Army has not issued a formal statement, our Territorial Commander, Commissioner Clive Adams has written on a previous occasion: “I believe that the practical challenges should not prevent Europe doing something“. 
  7. Some local Corps have been campaigning on very specific, practical asks with Citizens UK for (a) an increase in the number of refugees resettled in the UK from 750 a year to 1,500 (b) to align the spousal visa income threshold with the Living Wage and (c) to put a time limit on the immigration detention of adults and end the use of force as a means of restraint.  We know of one Corps which had Soldiers involved in meetings on these asks with 8 sitting MPs in the build up to the 2015 general election. We want to encourage other Corps to join in with this.
  8. We are inspired by The Salvation Army in Thessaloniki and Athens and think you should be too!

4 thoughts on “On Songs of Praise & Calais: No home on earth have I, No nation owns my soul.”

  1. Well put John. I was wondering what TSA was doing…I’d not head anything, but it seems nothing official? Also re Greece, that got me thinking about how to support them financially as they’re hot support the refugees that land there…(might have to adjust my giving to include them!)

    1. I can put you in touch with the folk in Greece if you want? Let me know via Facebook.

      It doesn’t seem anything is happening nationally or internationally – but there are pockets of local work going on. I wouldn’t be discouraged by that as it’s often more credible that way – and then it’s bolstered when the machinery catches up!

  2. apparently there is a saying that says something like this, “if I come from Africa, I am an immigrant. If I am from a westernized society, then I am an Ex-pat”
    trust me -The Italian and Greek governments are both struggling to do something mainly because of the volume and our own economic instability.

    1. That quote says a lot, Estelle! That’s my experience too of living overseas – I was welcomed everywhere I went whereas folk from those countries aren’t necessarily welcomed in the same way in the UK!

      Italy and Greece are taking the brunt of the numbers. What is the public reception there? How about amongst Salvationists?

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