"People are running for their lives"

Bishop Rose has expressed rage and frustration about the war on Ukraine and its people.

Speaking at Canterbury Diocesan Synod this weekend, she said that government ‘cannot be serious’ asking those running for their lives to have to tackle bureaucratic red-tape before trying to find safety.

The Bishop of Dover called for people to look beyond themselves and see what can be done to help. She said: “We see on our screens, the plight of the people of Ukraine. And I want to tell you this, that deep inside me there has been a rage. A real rage, and what is interesting to me is, that rage is no different from the rage that I felt from what I saw in Syria and what I have seen in Palestine and what I saw in Bosnia, in what I saw in the Congo. A rage.

“What does the Lord require of you? To act justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly, to love God. 

“And what is interesting to me is that there is a real conversation about how we receive these 2 million people - and I am sure it will be more - who are seeking refuge. People who are normal people, like you and me, who a few weeks ago were going about their normal business and now they are running for their lives. How do we respond to them? How do we open the doors and allow them in?

“I'm a great tennis fan and there are John McEnroe’s favourite words when he was a player, 'You cannot be serious!' I have heard myself say that when I have listened to government, my government, our government, talking about visas and applying for visas. People are running for their lives and we're asking them to find a place and apply? My goodness, you cannot be serious. Should we still be looking through our domestic lens about what our people will say if too many people come to our country? 

“I say that because I believe passionately that this is God's world and we are here as God's children to reach out and to build relationships, to name evil when we see it.”

You can listen to the full audio of the address here and to find out more about how to help the people of Ukraine, please visit our website here www.canterburydiocese.org/Ukraine.
 

Full transcript
We see on our screens, the plight of the people of Ukraine. And I want to tell you this, that deep inside me there has been a rage. A real rage, and what is interesting to me is that rage is no different from the rage that I felt and that I saw in Syria and what I have seen in Palestine and what I saw in Bosnia, in what I saw in the Congo. A rage.
What does the Lord require of you To act justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly, to love God. 
I hope that it was a spoof message that I heard on the news this week that the United Nations has asked its people not to use the term 'war' in relation to what Russia is raging on the people of Ukraine. I sincerely hope that it was spoof because as the people of God we must be able to name things for what they are. It really is important that we do that.
And what is interesting to me is that there is a real conversation about how we receive these 2 million people - and I am sure it will be more - who are seeking refuge. People who are normal people, like you and me, who a few weeks ago were going about their normal business and now they are running for their lives. How do we respond to them? How do we open the doors and allow them?
I'm a great tennis fan and there are John McEnroe’s favourite words when he was a player, 'You cannot be serious!' I have heard myself say that when I have listened to government, my government, our government, talking about visas and applying for visas. People are running for their lives and you're asking them to find a place and apply? My goodness, you cannot be serious. Should we still be looking through our domestic lens about what our people will say if too many people come to our country? 
I say that because I believe passionately that this is God's world and we are here as God's children to reach out and to build relationships, to name evil when we see it.
I want to draw this to a close, to thank you for this gathering and to use the words of Howard Thurman, it's a prayer really which says;
'Open unto me light for my darkness,
Courage for my fear,
Hope for my despair,
Peace for my turmoil,
Joy for my sorrow,
Strength for my weakness,
Wisdom for my confusion,
Forgiveness for my sins,
Tenderness for my toughness
Love for my hate,
And open unto me Thy Self for myself.

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