On Monday 3rd October in a new departures for the CCF we hosted a lunchtime Policy Fringe. Entitled The borders of compassion? How the Government and churches can support refugees in Syria and beyond, we were joined by Christian Aid and World Vision.
We talked about the war in Syria, what we can do to support people in the region and also what we can do to support refugees fleeing from the war.
Our chair was Gareth Wallace, the Executive Director of the Conservative Christian Fellowship
Prior to leading the CCF, Gareth worked mainly in the Christian charity sector, lobbying on matters concerning social engagement, religious liberty and poverty alleviation. His previous role was Policy Advisor for the Salvation Army. Gareth is currently Deputy Chair (Political) for Vauxhall Constituency Conservative Association. He attends St Mark's Battersea Rise and is a Trustee of a Health Fund in Lambeth and Wandsworth.
Frances Guy – Christian Aid – Head of Middle East region
Frances Guy outlined the situation in Syria, what Christian Aid is doing to help, the refugee situation across Europe, and what Christian Aid thinks the Government can do additionally to help. Frances mentioned how CCF supporters can get involved in Christian Aid’s campaign. Frances Guy is currently head of Middle East region at Christian Aid based in London. She worked as representative of UN Women in Iraq between May 2012 and December 2014, spending two years in Baghdad and six months in Erbil in northern Iraq. Prior to 2012, Frances was a career diplomat in the British Foreign Service where she had the honour to serve as ambassador to Yemen and to Lebanon. Her career was mostly focused in the Arab world and in East Africa, although she also worked in Thailand. Before joining the diplomatic service, Frances worked for the British Council in Damascus and at the European Parliament in Luxembourg. Frances is currently president of the British Society of Middle East Studies (BRISMES) and is a trustee of the Alexandria Trust.
Robert Henderson – World Vision – Advocacy and Public Affairs Officer
World Vision speaker Robert Henderson spoke about what World Vision is doing in the region and shared prayer points for CCF members to take away and pray about. Previously Robert was has worked in Beirut for World Vision as their Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs Advocacy and Policy Officer in The Lebanon from June 2014 to February 2015.
David was first elected as the Member of Parliament for Enfield Southgate in May 2005 with the biggest swing in the country from Labour to Conservatives. In May 2015 he was elected for a third term and retained the same share of the vote won in 2010, despite the swing against the Conservative Party in London. David is an Executive Member of Conservative MPs' influential backbench 1922 Committee and Chairman of its Justice Committee. He is a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee. In and outside Parliament David champions the interests of his constituents and the cause of social justice and human dignity. David was a Councillor in Enfield for 12 years and served as the Cabinet Member for Voluntary and Community Development and Leisure Services.
In this Parliament David has spoken up on a number of key issues which have led to changes in Government policy and legislation. For example David led the call for more Syrian refugees to be accepted in the UK