Skip to main content

Refugees from Afghanistan

Volume 702: debated on Thursday 28 October 2021

Churches up and down the country have been co-ordinating gifts of cash, clothing, toys, prams and other items to Afghan refugees. Church members have taken Afghan families to buy shoes and other items and have offered them houses and flats.

I thank the hon. Member for his answer. However, the biggest issue that we need to address is the provision of housing. Clearly the Church of England has a significant estate; I am grateful for the discussions that we are having in York about how we can use excess estate to support Afghan refugees. Will he ensure that across the Church of England, the estate is maximised so that we can home as many Afghan refugees as possible?

I can tell the hon. Lady that lowest income communities funding from the Church Commissioners helps dioceses to support parishes such as St Mary’s, Scarborough, that have been at the forefront of our effort to help Afghan refugees. I can also tell her that in the diocese of Chelmsford, five vacant vicarages have been allocated to refugee households, including to Afghan refugees.