London Churches conducted a theological enquiry process on Migration during 2015
The Common Reflections document is available HERE
The extended seminar took place on 8th June 2015
To see the full programme for the day, click HERE
For a list of participants, click HERE
For a list of Bible passages participants brought along, click here (HERE)
We encourage you to listen to the contributions made on the day, and send us your thoughts and reflections to contribute to the Common Voice process.
“How is the church and UK society being blessed/challenged by migration?”
Input from the Venerable Dr John Perumbalath (Archdeacon of Barking) (LISTEN HERE)
and Canon Rosemarie Mallet (St John’s, Angell Town, Brixton) (LISTEN HERE)
plus response by Zrinka Bralo (The Refugee and Migrants Forum) (LISTEN HERE)
“Who is weeping about, with and for migrants today?”
Input by Louise Zanre (Jesuit Refugee Service)(LISTEN HERE)
and Revd Dr Susanna Snyder (author of ‘Asylum-seeking, Migration and Church’) (LISTEN HERE)
plus response by Revd Dr Michael Jagessar (URC Racial Justice) (LISTEN HERE).
Here is an artwork which Elizabeth Gray-King created on the day as reflection on our conversation.
Elizabeth also wrote the following narrative for the artwork:
"Seminar participants were gathered in a building with deep foundations of history; a place of worship and action since 666. The bottom left corner of the piece hints at the resident sisters and their arched cloister. Barking has been gathering people from all corners of the world ever since, hinted at by the flow of people across the whole piece. We were reminded that God has always been a traveller and God’s people are travellers. We were reminded of the Tabernacle, the tent of God’s presence, erected wherever the people stopped to rest and worship; the two tents at the bottom of the cross show this stopping on journey, with the cross being the sign of the travelling God in Jesus. The cross also marks the reason why the good people of this seminar gathered for this discussion, Jesus having called us all to not only note our neighbours, but also to accompany and share life with our neighbours, no matter how their prior journey is coloured.
The circles of people following on from the tents indicate a tendency of people to slow the travelling and to settle, and, once settled, to regard other travellers as alien. Those in the circles have become their own kind, excluding the other circles, now ghetto, and the colours pushing at their edges. The aliens can become those feared, held in detention until a power structure makes a decision. We heard of the work of Asylum accompaniers, so the purple imprisoned people, held close by the gold accompaniers, wander behind fences. The stark light centre shows up the stark black fences holding people without power.
Yet the day held hope. There were flashes of light when people spoke of new languages, new words, new behaviours. Testimony from migrants and people who had been welcomed showed that the stark powerlessness is not the whole future. The right hand side of this piece shows not just a dream but the reality already present in some communities. The people on the left hand side are under a gleaming blue sky, the metaphor for better places, lands of hope and dreams. The people on the right hand side are not separate from that blue coloured hope; they merge with it, are wrapped in it. Our and their future is Wrapped in Hope."