The Parish Church of St John-at-Hampstead

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June 2018

Welcoming the Stranger - Community Sponsorship update

Sheena Ginnings

We are very pleased to report that Camden Council have given us the go ahead to send our application to become Community Sponsors to the Home Office. It was a bit of a wait – just over 3 months – but we have now passed this hurdle.

While we were waiting for our application to be processed by Camden Council we sent the draft application to the Home Office for preliminary assessment and got very positive feedback back from them.  Our formal application to the Home Office has now been submitted and we would value your prayers for this to be approved quickly.

Using talents and experience within our congregation we have been holding a series of monthly workshops for the wonderful team of 17 committed supporters, drawn from the congregation and wider community.  The supporters will be working with our family to help them to learn English, register with organizations and agencies (like doctors, schools and the Job Centre), and generally to help them to settle down and feel at home in England.

What next?

We hope our family will arrive some time in late summer. During the summer we will be asking the congregation to help us to furnish and equip the small two bedroomed flat that has been offered for the family.

We also need to raise additional funding over the next two years for the project.  One of the main expenses we have to cover is two months rent while we wait for the family to arrive.  The Home Office will not allocate a family until we have the keys of the accommodation in our hands. The property is currently let commercially and will become available at the end of July.  Then it takes about two months for the family to arrive.  We will be holding fund raising events and we would be very grateful for any individual donations and fund raising ideas.

The Community Sponsorship team is very grateful to the church and congregation for their support in so many ways.  Without this support we wouldn’t have got this far. Thank you.

I am always happy to answers any questions or receive suggestions.  I can be contacted via the Parish Office

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