Christ the King – 26th November 2017

A new Interfaith Initiative

Whilst visiting the New Neighbours Refugee and Asylum Seeker project in Burnley we learned that another new family had arrived in Clitheroe, from Syria. They were desperate to learn English. Currently the only English classes for men and women are in Blackburn and Burnley. As Refugees and Asylum Seekers only get £5.00 a day to live on and the bus fare is more than £4.00 each way it is impossible to attend an English class.

Recently, Clitheroe Christians in Partnership, the Mosque and friends, met to discuss coordinating the refugee response in our area. We began by sharing our belief that the Refugee crisis is a humanitarian problem and so reaffirmed our wish to work together.

As a result of this meeting we are to begin an exciting new initiative in Clitheroe. We are setting up an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class and Refugee and Asylum Seeker drop in.

The United Reformed Church have kindly offered a room, heated and insured. Teaching requires a lot of resources which needs funding. Astonishingly, this weekend, we had had an anonymous donation, from a lady in the Hodder valley, to cover the cost of teaching materials. The Ark Project, Blackburn despite being extremely busy, have generously offered to advise on Safeguarding and legal requirements.

We would like to invite interested parishioners or retired teachers who hold a DBS (Disclosure and barring) certificate to help staff the project. It is important to have stability in the staffing arrangement, so we would require a commitment, once a week, from January 2018 until July 2018 in the first instance.  This would cover the first two terms. There are a variety of roles including 1:1 teaching support for each student, child care support for children during the adult English class and help with tea, coffee and friendship.

We have wondered what the project should be called and would welcome suggestions. We also hoped to have a nurse as part of the team.  Unbelievably we met a paediatric nurse who is due to retire in December. She explained that she hoped to work on a Refugee project and as health is a key issue in this area of work we were delighted to welcome her on board.

We do need more volunteers. For information ring Tom Clay on 07962 136749 or email:

Tom and Kathryn Clay


Posted in Clitheroe, Dunsop Bridge, Sabden, Weekly View.