The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill, has joined eight church leaders from across the city to renew their efforts to help refugees.
Churches have been thanked for the work they are already doing and are being urged to continue showing their faith by loving their neighbours.
Other church leaders putting their name to the letter are:
Bishop Renford Brown: Chair, Bristol Black Churches Council)
Revd Nigel Coles: Senior Regional Minister, West of England Baptist Association
Majors Ian and Jean Harris: Divisional Commander, Severn and Somerset Division, Salvation Army
Revd Dr Jonathan Pye: Chair, Bristol Methodist District.
The Rt Revd Declan Lang, Bishop of Clifton, Clifton Diocese
Rob Scott-Cook: Celebration Network of churches and Woodlands Group of churches
Revd Ruth Whitehead: Moderator, South Western Synod, URC
The letter says: We are concerned to read and hear of increases in race-hate crime; in reports of communities divided; and in the concerns of those who no longer feel welcomed amongst us. We recognise the proud history and dynamic role of civil society in Bristol to celebrate our diversity & in particular to welcome strangers.
We rejoice in Bristols commitment to be a City of Sanctuary and we are proud of all the citizens and church members who contribute with such energy to that reality.
We are reminded as Christians of Jesus command to love our neighbour as ourselves, and of his explanation of that reality told in the now famous story of the good Samaritan: the kindness of a foreigner, the sometimes indifference of passers-by, and the need to practically care for those who find themselves the victim of circumstance.
As leaders of the church in Bristol we write to thank you for all you do in this regard; and to call the churches & Christians in our care to a renewed effort at this particular time.
Christians are being asked to help publicise a number of projects including:
A new campaign seeking to improve the medias portrayal of refugees: www2.christianaid.org.uk/change-the-story
The excellent Bristol based charities who are working to create safe and welcoming communities for all. You can find out more by emailing the Global Aware team: firstname.lastname@example.org.