Vineyard Churches UK & Ireland

Vineyard Worship

Multiply Vineyard


Clothes, Community and Football for Asylum Seekers and Refugees

Gloucester Vineyard

At the start of the year Gloucester Vineyard heard that there were refugees and asylum seekers arriving in their city.  We spoke to their Senior Pastor, Daniel Smith, to hear how the church reached out to provide practical need, community and friendship.

Back in January we heard that, like many other cities, Gloucester was about to have some newly arrived refugees and asylum seekers placed in local hotels. A local refugee charity reached out to churches asking if anyone was able to gather some clothing for them as they were not being provided with any. We felt prompted to step forward and organise a joint effort.

We managed to gain use of an empty anglican building and launched the Gloucestershire Asylum Seeker Clothing Campaign. Over the next 2 months we collected over 6,000 items of clothing, sorted them and packed them into starter wardrobes for over 300 newly arrived asylum seekers. Each bag was hand picked according to the individual’s size. The donations came from all over the county with people spreading the word and dropping the clothes at the church building. The volunteers also came from all over, both inside and outside the church as we arranged sorting parties and delivery runs. By March all the orders had been met!

There was also a great desire within the church to meet and welcome and to reach out to asylum seekers who have been in Gloucester for a while but are struggling in overcrowded Home Office housing. 

So last month we launched Unity Community which is an umbrella ministry looking to create many environments where refugees and asylum seekers can find community and have the opportunity to meet Jesus. We have started a football club (which is pretty much instantly full!) and an English conversation class. We have plans to start craft clubs and community meals over the coming years.

If you have a story that you’d like to share, please email [email protected] 

more like this

Latest Resources

Receive monthly Vineyard updates