‘Transformative and inspiring’ Face to Face programme

Migration Matters 554x415The Face to Face programme, ‘Freedom from the clutches of Empire: Face to Face with migration and human trafficking’, took place during June and July in the UK. Hosted by the United Reformed Church, the programme gathered together nine participants from Council for World Mission member churches and ecumenical partners to explore migration and human trafficking. 

Participants spent two weeks in placements in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Southend and Colchester, Sheffield, Blackburn and Darwen, Cardiff and Pontypridd where they worked alongside churches and charities seeking to support people who experience migration from around the world to the UK. Many people’s journeys and stories are traumatic and filled with anxiety, which doesn’t end when they reach the UK but can continue over many years.

In between placements there were residential periods where the group explored mission in the context of Empire, migration and human trafficking, churches’ responses to migration and considering the message of Scripture in caring for those who are most vulnerable. Participants said about the programme that their time in the UK had been “transformative” and “inspiring.” Their host churches and families had been generous and showed great hospitality and welcome.

Wayne Hawkins group 554x415Wayne Hawkins, CWM Mission Secretary Europe, said: ‘During the programme we came literally “face to face” with many people who experience migration and human trafficking. We encountered different cultures and society, we met “the other” – and God – in new ways. And in all these things we met ourselves. We pray that the participants reflect on their experiences and further develop the skills and insights they have learnt. We hope that having had these experiences they will work to make their own contexts places of welcome and hospitality.’