St. Matthias’s work on refugee settlement, a Faith in Action ministry renewed in 2016 after a hiatus of several years, continues in 2018.
St. Matthias is involved in several aspects of the Anglican Diocese of B.C. Refugee Settlement program which has been directly responsible for the concluded or ongoing settlement in B.C., mostly Vancouver Island, of 441 refugees over the past two years, of whom 209 are children.
St. Matthias’s role in all of this is several fold.
- Through 2015 and 2016 our then Rector, Rev. Bruce Bryant-Scott, was the Diocesan Refugee Program coordinator. In 2016 St. Matthias, with others, established a refugee constituent group known as St. Matthias and Friends.
- Through 2016-2017 this group successfully landed and settled the Harmoush family from Syria. While our work with this family officially ended February 10, 2017 several parishioners and other members of the team continue to be involved with, and supportive of, the family.
St. Matthias and Friends lives on.
On June 10 of this year a somewhat smaller constituent group, composed again of parishioners and a few friends, landed a Syrian gentleman. He is comfortably housed and about to start his first lessons in English. He is strongly independent and has taught himself to use the local bus service, and the pleasures of fishing local lakes. He is also reacquainting with a sister who has been here for many years.
The Diocesan Refugee Program has become one of the Diocese’s most engaging ministries, with strong ecumenical and community involvement aspects. In the face of 22.5 million refugees world wide this work is a drop in the bucket. But is is a very important, life giving drop to those we have been able to help.
What's next? The basics are underway, but there's always room to broaden the welcome to Victoria, and to widen the circle of friendship and support.
Interested? Please drop us a line at [email protected] or phone us at 250.598.2833 and we'll connect you with the group coordinator!