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After extensive consultation and preparation St. Helen's Parish Council voted on Tuesday evening to support an outreach initiative to Syrian refugees brought forward by a member of the parish.

A member of the parish has a long standing connection with a family of Syrian farmers who worked with her on her archaeological dig, hosting her and her family during stays in the region. Unfortunately the family, consisting of seven adults and a young child, are now refugees living in very difficult circumstances in Beirut. The photo shows their current accommodations.

St. Helen's will become a Constituent Group under the Sponsorship Agreement that the Diocese of New Westminister holds with the federal government.

Read a more detailed story about our refugee ministry on our diocesan website here.

The Vancouver Sun quoted our Rector, The Rev. Scott Gould, in both their print and web editions as saying that members of the parish "are in almost-daily communication with a group of eight displaced Syrian farmers that the church is preparing to sponsor. The family is currently surviving in a tent in Lebanon." Read the full story here.

A focus on Syrian refugees is being planned for the 10am Service on Sunday December 13.