By Lucy Ashton
The Very Rev Dr Susan Brown, Convener of the Church of Scotland’s Faith Impact Forum, has released a statement following the tragic loss of life yesterday in the channel.
She said: “The appalling news about the catastrophic loss of life in the English Channel yesterday must be a warning call to all of us. The current approach has failed in every respect, on humanity, on morality, and in achieving the stated objective of reducing irregular migrant journeys.
“Urgent action is now needed to prevent the Channel from become a killing ground. Authorities must prioritise the preservation of human life and respect for human dignity. The rapid establishment of safe passage, routes to allow people to bypass the people smugglers and avoid the treacherous and highly risky journey is now vital.
“We join with Christians across the UK, Europe and around the world in their lament and prayers to remember those who have died on their journey from terror, war and poverty in the hope of seeking sanctuary.”
God of family, we bring before you the parents who are weeping and lamenting, who are waiting for their children, whose trace is lost in the sea, in the desert, on railway tracks, in shipping containers and uncertainty: men, women and children who had escaped from the war zones, the famine and poverty of this world , with the hope for a better, safer life.
God of life, we bring before you our lament for the dead, stranded at the borders of safety, who died fleeing through deserts, over mountains and seas. We call to you and join in the cry of all those who sought justice and a better life for themselves and their children and perished in the process.
God of justice, we bring before you political leaders, advisers and decision-makers who hold the fate of others in their hands. Make them aware of the causes of migration and flight. Keep their consciences alive so that refugees are offered protection and dignity. Let them agree rules of residence that are based on human rights and guided by solidarity and compassion.
God of peace, give us the strength to be witnesses of the suffering of the world and fill us with the fire of your spirit to renew our efforts to serve those in need and give us the grace to welcome, learn and share our lives with people who come to live in our communities. Amen.
(Prayer is from God With Us – Worship resources on the theme of refugees, migration and sanctuary https://www.churchofscotland.org.uk/…/scott…/god-with-us)