Refugee Week 2024: Our Home

17 – 23 June

“To me, a home is where you feel loved, safe, and cherished.”- Malala Yousafzai

The theme for Refugee Week 2024,  is “Our Home”. From the places we gather to share meals to our collective home, planet earth: everyone is invited to celebrate what our Our Home means to them.

Home can be a place of refuge, a feeling or a state of mind. It can be found in smells, tastes and sounds. From the clothes we wear to the words we grew up with. It’s in food, music and arts. It’s in our cultures and in our landscapes.

Home can be more than one place and finding it can be a journey, as it is for so many of us who have to leave our countries and rebuild our lives. Sometimes we can find home in a single person. Other times it’s in a whole community. And often, it’s in a single gesture of care and welcome.

What would happen if this Refugee Week we extended our warmth and hospitality beyond our own homes and made entire neighbourhoods more welcoming? Simple acts like having a chat, walking together, or sending a message of welcome can help everyone feel like they belong. Together, we can work in solidarity to ensure all our neighbours, new and familiar, have safe and welcoming homes.

Our home is also global. We are interconnected; we share the earth’s resources, climate and its challenges. As we speak, millions of people are being displaced from their homes because of the climate crisis. But, exchanging knowledge, both new and traditional, can help us in practical ways to build hope for the future.

Together, this Refugee Week let’s practice our solidarity and make Our Home a more welcoming, safe and sustainable place for all.

Refugee Week

Bishop McAleenan's Reflection for Refugee Week

To mark Refugee Week, that runs from 17 – 23 June, Bishop Paul McAleenan, Lead Bishop for Migrants and Refugees for the Bishops’ Conference, offers a reflection on three themes – his recent visit to the Bibby Stockholm, the impact of the Rwanda Bill, and societal attitudes towards refugees and migrants.

Bishop McAleenan's Reflection

Love the Stranger: School Resources for Refugee Week

Ahead of this year’s Refugee Week, Caritas Brentwood, in partnership with the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and CSAN (Caritas Social Action Network), has launched educational resources for primary and secondary schools inspired by the Bishops’ document offering a pastoral response to migrants and refugees – Love the Stranger.

School Resources: Love the Stranger

Workshops and Webinars in the Archdiocese

The Refugee Group formed from Father Hudson's Care's Welcoming Church initiative is hosting a Zoom meeting starting at 7pm on Monday 17 June, where several speakers will be discussing what is happening across the archdiocese.

Restore is also offering training courses on befriending refugees in June. 

Find these and more on our events page.

Events

St Chad's Sanctuary

St Chad's Sanctuary is a place of welcome for Asylum Seekers and Refugees in the heart of Birmingham.
 
Making people welcome through the provision of practical support, English classes and signposting. To find out more and offer your support, please visit the St Chad's website.

St Chad's Sanctuary

Birmingham Refugee Week Festival

This year's Refugee Week Festival will bring music and arts from around the world, showcasing the work of highly acclaimed, UK based refugee and migrant artists, from: DR Congo, Haiti, Iran, Kurdistan, Sudan, Peru, Ukraine, plus special international guests from Zimbabwe.  Also events by our partners and colleagues across the city.

Birmingham Refugee Week Festival

Pope Francis: An encounter with a migrant is an encounter with Christ

“See in the migrants of our time, as in those of every age, a living image of God’s people on their way to the eternal homeland,” writes Pope Francis in his 2024 Message for the 110th World Day of Migrants and Refugees.

The World Day, celebrated annually on 29 September, is a call to believers to show support and closeness to the millions of men, women and children who are forced to leave their homes. The current global estimate is that there were around 281 million international migrants in the world in 2020, which equates to 3.6 per cent of the global population, and that number continues to rise.

Pointing out that God not only walks with His people, but also within them, he invites us all to walk in a “synodal” way – in the Church and in the world – in order to move forward on our own pilgrimage toward the heavenly homeland.

The Catholic Bishops' Conference provides a commentary on the message.

Catholic Bishops' Conference Commentary

Photo by Julie Ricard on Unsplash