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Syrian refugees in Norfolk plea set for service 

Multi-faith group Sanctuary Norfolk is to share a Harvest Festival with the Norwich Liberal Jewish Community on October 3, in a further attempt to secure a public commitment from Norfolk County Council to offer a place of refuge to 50 Syrian refugees in the county. 


An open day service to celebrate the Jewish Harvest Festival of Sukkot along with Muslims, Christians, Jews and members of other faiths and none, will be held at the Old Meeting House, Colegate, Norwich NR3 1BN.
 
It will be followed by an action from Sanctuary Norfolk to ask Norfolk County Council leader Cllr George Nobbs to commit to resettling 50 Syrian refugees in Norfolk.
 
Members of the Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities and non faith groups have offered their homes as temporary refuge for Syrian refugees if there is agreement for resettlement in Norfolk.

“Mothers' Union in Norwich Diocese has been working closely and campaigning with Sanctuary Norfolk from the outset,” said its president Marguerite Phillips, “as we believe it is our Christian obligation to help families in desperate need.
 
“Last November we raised money for the churches in Iraq and Syria to help refugees there and now we are working closer to home. In UK dioceses where refugees have already arrived, Mothers' Union is offering basic necessities and providing befriending and support.” 

The Harvest Service begins at 11.30am and is followed by the Sanctuary Norfolk action, expected to start at around 12.45pm.
 
Organisers hope to have civic leaders and local politicians in attendance, along with members of the Syrian community.
 
The NLJC service will be partly held in a community Sukkah, a temporary wooden structure traditionally built at harvest time as an agricultural shelter. The Sukkah also symbolises a tradition of opening homes to the needy and those in distress at this time of year.
 
The NLJC service will be led by Rabbi Leah Jordan, the community’s religious leader, who will also be participating in the Sanctuary Norfolk action.

Pictured above are Syrian refugees in front of Budapest railway station during September. Picture courtesy of Mstyslav Chernoc.


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