Refugees from Syria are beginning to arrive in towns within the Presbytery of Lothian. Churches are being asked to help in a number of ways.
One way of providing a welcome is to offer people food and clothing and congregations within the Presbytery are doing that. Usually, refugees have virtually no possessions left and are in need of good warm clothing. After a long and perilous journey, it can be comforting to have available food which is familiar, so congregations have been donating cashew nuts, hummus, tahini, pistachios and dates.
Language is also a real issue. Churches are being asked to try to identify anyone within them or known to them, perhaps friends of members of the congregations, who speak Arabic. Volunteers will be able to help refugees arriving here to integrate more quickly and flourish within their new communities.