Bureaucratic Frustrations Meet Congregation Trying to Help Ukrainians

Bureaucratic Frustrations Meet Congregation Trying to Help Ukrainians

Emmanuel Anglican Church in Tunbridge Wells is trying to aid a Ukrainian pastor and family find refuge under the UK government’s Ukrainian refugee programme.  They are meeting with frustratingly bureaucratic hurdles in order to offer assistance.

The Rev’d Dr Peter Sanlon, Rector of the parish and a columnist for this publication spoke about the matter on Saturday, 19 March.  His congregation is attempting to assist a pastor’s family with a large number of children.

“A family at our church is willing to give a home to Ukrainian pastor and his family.  Or course there must be some kind of system and checks but we found trying to get copies of bank statements, driving licences, and passports over WhatsApp from people who fled their home over fear for their lives very difficult.

“The distressing thing about this is that in filling out paperwork online leaves us all unsure that the family will be OK crossing the border when they get to it.”

Sanlon’s description is similar to those expressed by others who are attempting to aid those fleeing the war in Ukraine.

At press time, almost 150,000 people in the UK have offered to provide a place for Ukrainian refugees.