Refugees Welcome at Holy Name

Night shelter volunteers gather for training
Night shelter volunteers gather for training

On Saturday night the Jesuit Church of the Holy Name in Manchester opened its doors to welcome ten destitute asylum seekers who would otherwise be sleeping rough.  The asylum seekers were welcomed with a hot meal and a room to sleep in adjacent to the church's sacristy.

A team of volunteer helpers were recruited at the Manchester Universities' Catholic chaplaincy at a training meeting on Thursday evening which was attended by 40 students.

The chaplaincy Interfaith Coordinator Hinna said "We are thrilled at the great response from the students at this early stage in the new term. We need about ten volunteers for each night shelter to cook and serve the dinner and breakfast, and two men to sleep in the church with our guests."  The night shelter will continue every Saturday night until April, including Christmas eve.

The night shelter  ministry is shared with a number of other churches in central Manchester, so there is somewhere for destitute asylum seekers to stay every night throughout the winter.

Senior chaplain Fr Tim Byron SJ commented  " We are delighted have the opportunity to serve our refugee friends though the night shelter -  this initiative stems from a deep desire in our students to put their faith into action for social justice.  Having recently launched the Manchester chapter of Citizens UK, we are proud to join the national #RefugeesWelcome campaign in this practical way."

Those who would like to support this initiative by volunteering or with donations should contact Hinna