Typically service-users are from Afghanistan, Congo, Eritrea, Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Tibet.
Members of the Edmund Rice Network, both Brothers and lay, and Sixth Form students from our schools help to run the Revive drop-in centre in Lower Kersal, Salford.
The stories of Charles Bianconi and John Thomas remind us of Edmund’s special compassion for ‘strangers in our midst’ Edmund Rice spirituality is a spirituality of hospitality, welcoming the stranger as one who incarnates the presence of God in our lives
‘Treat resident aliens as though they were native-born and love them as yourself, for you yourselves were once aliens in Egypt’
Leviticus 19. 34
‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’
‘Love one another like brothers and sisters, and remember always to welcome strangers:
by doing this some people have entertained angels without knowing it’
‘Jesus came up and walked by their side, but something prevented them from recognising him’
At this point ’failed’ asylum seekers are evicted, weekly benefit is terminated, and they become totally destitute. Destitution is intended to drive them into returning home. Many are genuine cases unable to prove their claim and wrongly categorized as ‘non-credible’. Rather than return to political or religious persecution, ethnic or sexual violence, police brutality or torture, failed asylum seekers remain in destitution in the UK. They lack the money, travel documents, and proof of identity to return anyway. Thousands are consigned to a limbo without home, identity, money, education, or work, deprived of human dignity and with no possibility of a fulfilled life. Reporting regularly at designated Immigration Reporting Centres, they are liable to detention and forced deportation.
We also provide support and advocacy for successful asylum seekers, i.e. ‘refugees’, to access jobseekers’ allowance, education, and housing.
Working with Brian Bond and Donal Leader of Edmund Rice International , and ‘United for Change’, a coalition of refugee support organisations in Manchester, Revive has co-ordinated a submission on the plight of asylum seekers for the 2012 Universal Periodic Review of the UK’s performance on issues of human rights. The submission provides a critique of the UK Government’s use of enforced destitution as a deliberate instrument of policy.
‘Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power, who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, excommunicated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world’
Thomas Merton: ‘Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander’
Supporting Refugees and People Seeking Asylum
187 Grey Mare Lane, Beswick, Manchester M11 3ND
Tel. 0161 2235668
Fax : 0161 2239195
Just Youth Centre, Northallerton Road, Lower Kersal, Salford M7 3tp
Tel. 0161 7924195
Br. Ger O’Connell 07403960617
O God, we thank you for the life of Edmund Rice.
He opened his heart to Christ present in those oppressed by poverty and injustice.
May we follow his example of faith and generosity.
Grant us the courage and compassion of Edmund as we seek to live lives of love and service.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.