Churches Urged To Adopt Refugee Family As Home Office Struggles To Meet 20,000 Target

"Go and do something" was the Salvation Army founder's motto and is the message to UK churches over support for refugees fleeing persecution in the Middle East.

Parishes across Britain are being urged to adopt a Syrian refugee family under the government's community sponsorship scheme after it emerged just two families had been welcomed under the programme.

ReutersMore than 4.8 million Syrians have fled the country since the conflict began in 2011.

Home secretary Amber Rudd launched the scheme six months ago and it means churches can register to support a refugee family by providing housing, education and ensuring they are integrated into the local community.

The initiative is meant to support the Syrian vulnerable persons resettlement scheme which aims to bring 20,000 refugees from the Middle East to the UK by 2020.

But so far just two families have come into the UK under the system and one was taken by the Archbishop of Canterbury.

"I want to encourage more groups to sign up and join this movement," Rudd said in a social media post last week.

"Community Sponsorship is about bringing communities together to welcome families in need."

Church Response For Refugees coordinates churches wanting to sign up.

Executive director Tania Bright said: "I have no doubt, therefore, that Community Sponsorship has the potential to be the defining channel through which UK churches can be salt and light to Syrian refugee families arriving in their local communities."