1 Family Cardiff update – 26.11.2020

Published on 2nd December, 2020

1 Family Cardiff

“… I was a stranger and you welcomed me ”
( St Matthew 25, verse 35 )

Here’s an extract from an email from Rev’d Michael John,
Vicar of the Parish of Pentyrch with Capel LLanilltern and Area Dean of Llandaff.
who spearheads the 1 Family Cardiff project.

21st November, 2020:

Well, it’s great news! It seems that the Syrian refugee family project is starting up again at speed.  I have spoken today with Hannah at the Citizens Cymru headquarters. She has asked me to resubmit the application and confirm that the house is available.  We’re looking to January/February as a likely target date.

This is wonderful news, of course, but it also presents us with quite a few challenges, as so many of our supporters are vulnerable and isolating.  I am having a Deanery Chapter Meeting on Wednesday evening at which I am going to ask the clergy of the Deanery to set about trying to identify two additional people from each Parish to be hands-on supporters.

May I also ask you to search around for people who are not in the vulnerable category who might wish to be on board as we welcome and settle the family?  I am hoping that recent graduates, or other young people who are without work at the moment, may emerge.  Would you all ask and encourage any youngsters you know to consider offering themselves to support this project? They wouldn’t need to have any great expertise, and perhaps some of our older, more experienced volunteers may be able to support, mentor or coach them remotely.

If you know of anyone whom you think would like to help, please refer them to any of our project leaders (below and copied in) or your local ‘champion’


God our Saviour, empower and encourage us to be your people.
Bless and guide the work of 1FamilyCardiff, that in reaching out to those who have lost everything, we may honour in them the presence of your Son, Jesus our Lord. Amen.

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

What happened to the 1 Family Cardiff project during Lockdown?

You may remember that we had jumped through all the hoops – cleaned, repaired, decorated and refurnished the ‘refugee house’ – had had it ‘signed off ’ by Cardiff County Council, and had been informed by the Home Office that they were about to select ‘our’ Syrian refugee family.

Then came Lockdown, we were confined to barracks, and the shutters came down on all the refugee projects throughout the UK.  We were faced with the choice of paying rent and utility bills for months on the empty house . . . . . or of abandoning the whole thing and starting again from scratch when the Covid-19 nightmare was eventually over.  It was a heart-breaking prospect.

 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Then, on 24th May, came some good news in another email from Michael John:

We have been approached by a local organisation called ‘Home4You’ which works to house asylum seekers for short periods until they are able to find council accommodation.  They have agreed to rent/use the house for an initial period of two months to house three asylum seekers. Ordinarily, ‘Home4You’ doesn’t pay for the use of a house, but they understand our circumstances, and, thanks to a recent grant, they are able to pay about two thirds of the rental costs plus utility bills.

And that’s what happened.  Three delightful asylum-seekers occupied the house temporarily while they waited for their applications to be finalised.  Now they have moved on, and once again we look forward to welcoming a Syrian family and helping them to rebuild their lives in a place of safety and tranquillity.  Please continue to pray for this project and for all those people who are desperately awaiting the opportunity to make a new start free from fear and oppression.
                                                 ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Want to get involved?  VERY latest news!
Join the Zoom meeting this Friday, 4th December!

29th November, email from Michael John:

Dear Friends,
By now you will know that we are drawing ever closer to welcoming our family in the New Year.  We are now required as a group to complete some training which will be delivered by Reset UK. This training will be taking place between 4pm and 7pm on
Friday 4th December via Zoom.

Here is the registration link for the Zoom meeting:

https://us02web.zoom.us/ meeting/register/ tZAoduGtqz8oHtYw60mMExeo9BWCeM v4X_YG

We need a good turn-out at this event – it does not matter if you are not part of the Core team.  Even if you haven’t been directly involved in the project for a long time, we’d love you to re-engage and become part of the delivery of this wonderful piece of work.  Do not be put off if you need to isolate or stay at home for whatever reason – you all can play your part.

The session will be quite interactive, and will focus on arrival planning, empowerment approach, boundaries and cultural differences.

If you can’t make this event, do contact me:
(Michael) vicar@parishofpentyrch.org.uk,
(Fr Jesse) jessesmith1970@gmail.com, or
(Glynis James) glynisjames@yahoo.co.uk.

Hope to see you on Friday or hear from you soon.