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Latest Posts

Open Letter to Mrs. KIM JOHNSON MP

Posted on 16th April, 2022

St. Vincent de Paul Presbytery

13 Hardy Street,


L1 5JN

Mrs Kim Johnson MP,

Liverpool Riverside Office

Kuumba Imani Millenium Centre

4 Princes Road


L8 1TH

 Saturday 16th April 2022



Dear Mrs Johnson,

I hope you are well. I am writing to you as I would like to raise my concerns about the Nationality and Borders Bill as it returns to the Commons for consideration of Lords amendments. The Bill is a key instrument in a wider overhaul of the asylum system proposed in the government’s New Plan for Immigration. This legislation shows no respect for human dignity, justice, or the protection of human life.  

Already, asylum claimants often struggle to get justice and are re-traumatised by the asylum process and life in the asylum system. Proposals in The Bill would create further barriers to protection for those who badly need it, and an even more hostile environment for asylum seekers and refugees.

Some of my key concerns are:

  1. The Bill would punish refugees for how they got to the UK. This ignores the reality of seeking asylum and is deeply cruel. Refugees rarely have a choice of how they travel, and the Refugee Convention does not oblige them to seek asylum in the first safe country they come to. Ukrainian refugees trying to get to the UK are currently held in limbo by complex visa processes, demonstrating the folly of insisting that refugees must obtain authorisation prior to travel. Under the Bill’s proposals for differential treatment, Ukrainian, Afghan, Syrian, and other refugees would be heavily penalised if they arrive other than by pre-arranged routes. These plans deny the right of refugees to seek asylum, and should be abandoned.
  2. The Bill would allow for asylum seekers to be removed from the UK while their claims are being processed, opening the door to offshore processing of asylum claims.[i] This would be highly impractical and costly, and has given rise to serious human rights abuses in other contexts where it has occurred. It undermines our commitment to processing claims fairly and offering sanctuary to refugees.
  3. The Bill would make people seeking sanctuary more vulnerable to trafficking and modern slavery. By punishing refugees who arrive without the right documentation and makes it easier to subject them to criminal penalties, it will make it much harder for trafficking victims to seek help from police. Victims of trafficking are regularly warned by their traffickers that if they go to the authorities, they will just be detained rather than helped. This Bill therefore plays into the hands of traffickers.
  4. The new move by the Government to send asylum seekers to Rwanda to continue their process of verification and consideration does not take into consideration the fragile state of human rights in that country. By this move the government shows its lack of responsibility for the care of the vulnerable and those who suffer. Given the comparative poverty and the clear lack of democratic accountability of the Rwandan state, there is no guarantee that justice will be done and seen to be done.


This legislation is deeply cruel, impractical, and destructive to the common good. Changes that peers supported reflect widespread concerns with these key aspects of the Bill. I urge you to support changes that abandon differential treatment of refugees, criminalising of refugees for arriving without documents, and offshore processing.


Thank you for your consideration. I would be happy to arrange to meet with you to discuss this matter further.


Yours sincerely,



Fr. Terence Madden and Fr. Ferdinand Van Campen



Cc to Westminster address



Prayer Vigil for Peace in Eastern Europe 

Posted on 14th February, 2022


Prayer Vigil for Peace in Eastern Europe 


Photo of Participants at the Vigil of Prayer for Peace between Russia and Ukraine

(Photo by Rev. Miranda Threlfall-Holmes)


That was good. We should do it more often” is what the Imam said to me at the end of prayer. Others said the same, reiterating the same feeling I had, despite the cold, biting wind and rain, on Friday, 4th February, as we prayed for peace on the steps of the Cathedral.  Our prayer was especially for a peaceful outcome from the confrontation between Russia and Ukraine. But we also put up a banner with the names of more than 10 countries who are presently being torn apart by violent and mortal conflict.


A small group of some 40 or 50 people gathered. Hindu, Anglican, Muslim, Roman Catholic, Ukrainian Catholic Church: we all prayed to our God of Peace. A number of our parishes were represented. Pax Christi were there, as were Archbishop Malcom and Bishop Tom Williams, the Sisters of Seel Street, the Sacred Heart Sisters, the FCJ, and our own Cardinal. And who have I missed out?


It was proof that religion is not always divisive but can unite, can bring together for the good of all. It reminded me of the Psalm 133; “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes


This is, indeed, something we should do, together and more often. In this age of secularism and individualism, it was good to see Faith in God bringing people together to build a world of Peace and Justice. This is surely the Kingdom of God that we all seek. And it begins here on earth!   


Terry Madden

Josephine Bakhita

We all know St. Josephine Bakhita now. Her feast day is Tuesday 8th February.

Do we know, however, that she is the patron saint of all women, children and men who are still taken into captivity today and forced to work in slave-like conditions, against their will?


“In October 2019 the nation was shocked when 39 people were found dead in the back of a trailer in West Thurrock. The truth is that people are being trafficked into our country every day – seduced by criminal gangs who ruthlessly exploit their dreams and bind them over to slave labour. We can all play our part in fighting this menace. It is all around us: in car washes, nail bars, restaurants, brothels, cannabis farms, and people’s homes. (…) We should all be vigilant, report any suspicion we may have; and we can always wash our own cars.” … “Modern slavery is an abhorrent crime, often hitting the most vulnerable in our society; immigrants, women, children, ethnic minorities, people with disabilities and mental health issues, those struggling the most to get a job.”  

Jackie Doyle-Price, MP for Thurrock


Anti-slavery vigil at St. Anne’s Parish, Overbury Street

This Tuesday at 7pm

Pope Francis calls for peace in Israel

Posted on 13th May, 2021

Pope Francis appeals for peace in Jerusalem

Pope Francis calls for peace and a shared solution to the violence occurring in Jerusalem, as Palestinian protesters continue to clash with Israeli police.

By Devin Watkins & Nathan Morley

After renewed clashes in the streets of Jerusalem, Pope Francis on Sunday urged all parties to seek a common solution and put aside violence.

The Pope said at the Sunday Regina Coeli address that he is following the events in Jerusalem with concern.

“I pray that the city might be a place of encounter and not of violent clashes, a place of prayer and peace,” he said.

“I invite everyone to seek shared solutions, so that the multi-religious and multi-cultural identity of the Holy City might be respected and that fraternity might prevail,” said the Pope.

“Violence generates only violence,” he concluded. “Enough with the clashes.”

What’s the situation in Jerusalem?

The Pope’s appeal came following the latest in a series of violent confrontations which have coincided with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The unrest was sparked when Israel blocked off a popular area where Palestinians traditionally meet at the end of their day-long fast.

That sparked a fortnight of clashes before Israel finally recanted and lifted the restrictions.

Renewed violence

But the clashes resumed last week after Israel threatened to evict dozens of Palestinians from a district of east Jerusalem.

Now in the latest round of violence, 136 people were wounded at the Al-Aqsa compound, and elsewhere in Jerusalem, on Friday and Saturday nights.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, most were hurt after being hit in the face and eyes by rubber bullets.


This article is copied from Vatican News 

J&P Questionnaire

Posted on 26th March, 2021

Encouraged by the Pope’s recent letters, “Laudato Si” and “Fratelli Tutti”, some of us wish to begin meeting as a J&P group in the parish. We aspire, by getting involved in J&P issues in and around our area, to deepen our commitment to a Christian Life. As this is a group working on behalf of the Christian Community of St. Vincent de Paul, we would like to ask your opinions. Can we, therefore, please ask you to answer the following questions and return them to Fr. Terry at the Parish House or complete online by Easter Sunday?


Print out and return: JP Questionnaire


Online form: 



An Economy without Human Trafficking

Posted on 8th February, 2021


Holy Family Hospital Bethlehem Press Release

Posted on 30th December, 2020

Dear Ms Johnson,

The recent published comments on Twitter by officials of the Home Office reveal the callous attitude of this Office to the plight of Refugees and Asylum Seekers.

These traumatised people do not, surely, take lightly the huge risks on open boats to cross the cold waters of the English Channel. They are fleeing unliveable conditions in their own country in the hope of finding a peaceful and more humane future in the country with the 6th largest economy in the world. They have the right to be listened to and to be treated with respect and empathy from the moment they show their intention of seeking asylum on our shores.

Please do your utmost to insist that the government in Westminster ensures that all refugees and asylum seekers are treated fairly and with dignity, whether they are on the French shore line of the English Channel, on a legal or illegal crossing attempt, or on the shores of the South of England.

Our common humanity demands this, even before we appeal to our Christian traditions of hospitality and care for the outcast.

Yours sincerely,


The Community of Missionaries of Africa,

St. Vincent de Paul Parish,

13 Hardy Street,

Liverpool L1 5JN