Afghan refugees fund given £36,000 in just two weeks

The Rt Rev Graham Barham Usher, the new Bishop of Norwich, gives the sermon during his enthronement

The Rt Rev Graham Barham Usher, the new Bishop of Norwich, gives the sermon during his enthronement service. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

People in Norfolk and Waveney have donated almost £36,000 over the past fortnight to support Afghan refugees.

The Bishop's Refugee Fund will use the money to help arriving and expected refugees from Afghanistan, with the Diocese of Norwich administering the fund at the request of Norfolk County Council.

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council, said he had been humbled by the response.

"No one chooses to be a refugee and many Afghans have been forced to leave their homes with little to no personal belongings, let alone the means to find new homes in a foreign country," he said.

Norfolk home for Afghan refugees

One of the homes which has been furnished ahead of the arrival of Afghan refugees. - Credit: Norfolk County Council

"The work of all the people involved here in Norfolk, from the diocese and private landlords to the donations of clothing and furniture by individuals, shows the warm welcome we’re all ready to give those fleeing such harrowing circumstances, and I want to thank everyone for the kindness and compassion they’ve shown over recent weeks.”

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council

Andrew Proctor, leader of Norfolk County Council - Credit: Norfolk County Council

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Tim Sweeting, the new Diocesan Secretary of the Diocese of Norwich, said: "I’m so pleased that our staff team is able to provide this secure way of giving via our website and to work with Norfolk County Council to ensure these funds will be used effectively for those who need them most. Many of our church communities are promoting the fund and are assisting in practical ways too.”

The Diocese of Norwich has said it will make a recently-vacated clergy house in the city centre available for an Afghan family to live in for two years.

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The Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich, said: “My prayer is that this house will soon become a home for a family to settle and thrive in. May they find the welcome that so many 'strangers' down the centuries have found in the wonderful city of Norwich. It’s another way of living out the Gospel of Christ in loving our neighbour.”

He has previously said the fund does not duplicate that provided elsewhere, but instead aims to help new arrivals to the county settle.

You can continue to donate to the Bishop’s Refugee Fund at

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