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Imagine this...

Imagine: walking down the Ivanhoe Way, you find a young child, maybe 6 or 7 years old. Looking bruised, dirty, abandoned and lost. Hungry, malnourished even. With a shock you realise that they are one of your neighbours. What would you do? Walk on by? Surely you'd help. Help them find their way home. Give them food. Maybe at some point become curious and even outraged at what had left them in this state.

There are tens of thousands of children in that position right now. Children who have no home to be helped back to, because a bomb has destroyed it. No family to be returned to, because they've been killed. And yet recently the government has taken the shameful decision – in our name! – to walk by. Having spoken of taking up to 3000 children under what was called the 'Dubs Amendment', the programme is being closed down after receiving only 350.

Jesus spoke of a 'Good Samaritan'. Someone who, despite a history of suspicion and hatred based on differences of nationality and race, helped someone else in obvious need. He taught us that our neighbours, to be looked out for, are not just the people who live in our street, not just those people who are 'like us', but people in need, whatever our suspicion and fear of them might be. He himself gave an example of caring for, praying for, even those who killed him.

Can I encourage you to be outraged at this decision of our government? To think about the children who we are abandoning and to let both the government, and our local MP, know of our outrage. One of the core values of the Christian faith, one which this country has long held dear, is to help those in need, to 'support the underdog'. Not just in our imagination, but in the reality of children left homeless and suffering, who we can help.

St Peter's Church

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