By Alexandra Foden
It’s interesting to think that 12 months ago I was asked to take the role of a Refugee Resettlement Caseworker. From being young, attending school, college and University I always felt I was destined to help people live a better quality of life and make a difference, yet I never thought I would get an opportunity like this. It has been a privileged experience supporting refugee families with their resettlement in the UK after living in hardship, persecution and fear in their home country. The day the refugees arrived I greeted them at the airport and was overwhelmed with empathy and the need to help them. From that day on the families faced many challenges and I began to see them with a new perspective.
Continue reading “Refugee Week 6: Breaking barriers”
By Laurence Sandman (adapted and updated from a blog originally published on The Whole World Mobilizing, with permission)
3616 miles. 5820 kilometres.
It’s a simple matter to type a departure point and a destination into Google and it tells me that it is 3616 miles or 5820 km and will take 61 hours by car. Easy.
Departure point: Tehran, Iran
Destination: The Salvation Army, Ellesmere Port, UK
Distance: 3616 miles / 5820 km
Duration of journey (by car): 61 hours.
As great and, I’m sure, as accurate as Google maps is, the figures don’t reflect the real world for real people. They certainly don’t even scratch the surface of the circumstances, the conditions and, above all, the emotional struggles of those who, as Christians and other faiths, find themselves in such desperate straits that a long, dangerous and uncertain journey seems the only way out.
Easy? Certainly not.
Continue reading “Refugee Week 4: 3616 miles – making the journey from Tehran to Ellesmere Port”
By Captain Will Pearson
It was the photo of Alan Kurdi that was the tipping point. How can one photo make such a difference?
We knew in our heads that thousands were dying, but little Alan forced us to pay attention to our hearts and to do something. It wasn’t just numbers anymore, it was people, people like us, children like ours, desperate, afraid and dying every day. We claimed to be a people of hope who believed in a better world. We had to act.
Continue reading “Refugee Week 3: Turning Hope into Action – glimpses of the Kingdom of God in Bicester”
By Captain Annette Booth
A year ago, I attended a meeting about asylum seeking in the UK and learnt that many people were being housed near me in the North-West of England by the Home Office. Individuals and families were placed in shared accommodation, most with little English language, whilst they awaited their asylum decisions.
I asked what the best way was to make contact, and was told to knock on doors and ask people directly. I went home dismayed and began to pray that God would help these hidden people find their way to us, at The Salvation Army Corps in Bootle.
And they started to come….
Continue reading “Refugee Week 2: ‘And they started to come…’ – welcoming refugees at Bootle Salvation Army”
By Nick Coke
This article first appeared in the January-February 2017 edition of ‘The Officer’ magazine and is re-published with permission.
Bob Dylan is my hero. There, I’ve gone and said it! Some might laugh at the suggestion, others cringe and perhaps there are even those who wonder who on earth he is. Let me help you understand.
Bob Dylan is an American singer and songwriter, born Robert Zimmerman in Minnesota in 1941. Rising to prominence as a folk singer, he is accredited as a pioneer of the 1960s counterculture and the voice of a generation. His early songs accompanied the civil rights movement, and he even shared a stage with Martin Luther King on the day the Rev King delivered his ‘I have a dream’ speech in 1963.
Continue reading “The Times they are a-changin’”
Guest post by Cadet Lottie Milner
Last July, as a young adult member of The Salvation Army Corps in Stepney, I was invited to take part in a BBC Radio 4 recorded discussion, marking the launch into the Citizens UK Commission into Islam, Participation and Public Life. Gathered together in a room in the East London Mosque were a group of young people from different backgrounds, responding to comments made by David Cameron in his speech about extremism, and discussing the young British Muslim identity. I heard a cry of pain graciously articulated amongst those present that I had not fully recognised before. My eyes were opened for the first time to how multi-faceted the issues facing British Muslims are. We could never have imagined the situation that we see now, a year later.
Continue reading “Us Together: Commission on Islam, Participation and Public Life.”
We’re very excited to make the new Marching Towards Justice Study Guide available for download here!
This study guide is aimed at those attending or working at Salvation Army Corps or Centres who are interested in social justice, although it will be useful for many other settings. The four sessions cover history, method (x2 sessions) and next steps. They are intended for a small group setting (e.g. a home group or staff team meeting) and should be done alongside the reading of the Marching Towards Justice, which can be downloaded here.
Continue reading “NEW Marching Towards Justice Study Guide now available to download here!”
Thanks to the support of The Centre for Theology and Community, we’re looking forward to releasing the Marching Towards Justice Study Guide on Sunday afternoon, after the commissioning of the authors, Sam Tomlin and Paul Williams, as Salvation Army Officers!
This Study Guide will accompany Marching Towards Justice which was released a year ago.
Salvationists from 9 corps across London joined with friends and neighbours in a powerful act of solidarity in anxious times. Here’s a reflection from someone who took part.
Guest post by Lieutenant Lee Raggett
Yesterday London Citizens joined together to stand outside 30 stations across London to change a dark narrative that has been stirring in the city. Some say it’s a result of the ‘leave’ decision – others say that it’s been there all along. We stood because we believe in a different story!
I stood because my friend A was told to ‘f off back to Poland’ – she’s German and she works hard helping mums to be and sitting with new mums through difficult early days of parenting. I stood because I heard the British-African lady crying into her phone in fear of hatred. I stood because I saw the young Polish mum take abuse at the checkout. I couldn’t change her attackers hatred but I could show her love. I stood because I believe that in the end love is stronger than hate.
Continue reading “#LoveLondon. #NoPlaceforHate.”
By Saul D. Alinsky, taken from the introduction to: Alinsky, S. D. (1970). John L. Lewis, an unauthorized biography. New York, Vintage Books. Pages ix-xiv
This is the story of a man, of a revolution and how he led it.
It is relevant to our own revolutionary times. All great social crises turn on certain common concepts. One is that progress occurs only in response to threats, and reconciliation only results when one side gets the power and the other side gets reconciled to it. Another is that the power of organised people is required to defeat the power of the establishment and its money. A third is that effective tactics means going outside the experience of the enemy, and a fourth is that all issues must be polarised. These and other revolutionary concepts hold true through all the revolutions of man, no matter in what place or time.
Continue reading “This is the story of a man, of a revolution and how he led it: Saul Alinsky on John L. Lewis”