Manchester Airport Chaplaincy team play important role in welcoming Ukrainian refugees to Manchester.
Nick Stirling, our On the Wing chaplain, tells us that the Chaplaincy team at Manchester Airport are working alongside Manchester Council to help Ukrainian refugees arriving there.
They are met and welcomed by the team as they come off their flights and given housing advice, and support. Some have friends or relatives who are taking them in. Others are being housed by sponsors under the government's Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Nick says that every week people donate hand-knitted Teddy Bears for Ukrainian children (amongst other things) and these are given out to families at the welcome table upon their arrival in Terminal 3. He also says that even though this may seem to be only a small thing, it is a simple, warm, welcoming gesture which means a great deal to the recipients, indicating that there are many people who care.
Nick witnesses extremely moving scenes each time one of these flights comes in from Eastern Europe as people rush to meet and greet the friends and loved ones waiting for them, both parties being eager to share with each other. There is a mixture of emotion evident on the faces of the refugees - relief and gratitude upon reaching safety and yet at the same time great sadness at the thought of what is happening back home.
Nick asks “Please pray for these dear, traumatised people, that in all their tragedy and loss the Lord will make Himself real to them as their Saviour and be the God of all comfort that they so desperately need at this time. Pray too for the airport Chaplaincy team that we may have compassion, understanding and wisdom as we seek to come alongside them.”
Manchester City Mission itself is also offering support to those who are taking in refugees from the conflict in Ukraine. To find out more, please follow this link.