Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Churches to gather in mass demonstration of support for migrant amnesty

In what is set to be one of the largest ever Christian expressions in the public square, thousands are to attend simultaneous services celebrating the place of migrants before moving to Trafalgar Square to call for citizenship for large numbers of those who have overstayed their visas or been refused asylum.

The Strangers into Citizens ‘Day of Action and Celebration’ on Bank Holiday Monday (4th May) will begin with a series of simultaneous religious services at Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Methodist Central Hall in which leaders of the Catholic, Anglican, and Free Churches will celebrate the place of the immigrant in modern Britain.

It is thought to be the first time that Catholic, Anglican and Free Church services have been held simultaneously in Westminster Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and Methodist Central Hall for such a cause.

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, the Anglican Bishop of Southwark, Tom Butler and the New Testament Church of God leader, Bishop Eric Brown, will be among those leading the services.

The London Citizens community alliance of more than 120 civic institutions – mostly churches, but also including union branches, charities and schools - is behind the rally, which first took place in 2007 with strong backing from leaders of the Catholic and Anglican churches and politicians from all parties. The Archbishop-designate of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, told the campaign in March 2007: “I give my support to this call for regularisation procedures which will give proper legal recognition to those who steadily contribute to our economy. This is what we owe them.”

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