A local vicar has provided a home for six people who otherwise wouldn’t have a place to call home and has spoken of the theological reasons behind his actions.
Peter Nevins, curate at St Paul’s church in Dorking, and his family have helped a number of refugees and homeless people by offering up room in their home. In light of the Government’s decision to cap the number of children allowed into the country under the Dubs Amendment, Peter spoke about the reasons which led him to take in refugees on the Sunday Morning with Emily Jeffrey radio show on BBC Surrey & BBC Sussex.
Peter said: “Ultimately it’s a theological conviction. We wanted to worship with the resources God had entrusted to us. We had the space and felt hospitality was a great and practical way to demonstrate the welcome we receive from God. That type of hospitality, opening up your home and welcoming in the ‘other’ with grace and mercy and love and compassion it shows something of who God is what God is like and what we received from Him in Christ.”
This theological conviction first drove the Nevins family to open up their home four years ago when they hosted a British teenager who found herself sofa surfing and at risk of homelessness. With a stable place to call home, she was able to continue with her apprenticeship, and is now transitioning toward independent living. The family remain in contact with her and enjoy celebrating holidays and birthdays together.
Working with a charity called Refugees at Home, the family have hosted refugees from Syria, Iran, Nigeria and Ghana for varying amounts of time, from three days to three weeks, reflective of the diocesan Transformation goal of ‘reaching beyond our borders’.
Speaking about the experience Peter said: “It has been a positive experience and we are now investigating foster parenting. Our four kids have been on board the whole time they were engaged in the decision making and they have found hosting to be a blessing, even if challenging at times.”
The Sunday Morning with Emily Jeffrey show is available on iPlayer, the interview with Peter begins two hours and 21 minutes into the episode.