New national co-ordinator for refugee scheme

Sean Ryan has taken up a full-time position, to expand a scheme for housing refugee families, in the Catholic dioceses of England and Wales.

Mr Ryan, a parishioner at St Monica’s in the Diocese of Salford, led a 25-strong team that welcomed the first Syrian family to be resettled in the UK by a parish, in partnership with the Government’s Community Sponsorship scheme. The scheme allows parishes and community groups to welcome, house and support refugee families looking to rebuild their lives in the UK.

Mr Ryan has since been employed by Caritas Salford to support the scheme’s uptake by parishes in the North-West. His new national role will involve working with the Home Office, local authorities and Catholic dioceses to enable many more Syrian families to be resettled, harnessing the love, talents and commitment of parish communities.

The role is funded by Caritas Salford and Caritas Social Action Network (CSAN).  The Church of England has advertised a similar role, and we aim to build on our good relations as the scheme develops.

Commenting on his appointment, Sean Ryan said,

“This ground-breaking scheme allows us to answer the call of Pope Francis, by welcoming refugee families as people of infinite worth, loved by God, and moreover as friends, neighbours and valued members of our communities.  I am blessed beyond words to be sharing this unique journey of mission with Dioceses and parishes throughout the country.”