2007, Migrants & Refugees

Migrants and Refugees in the UK – Report on the FiE Residential Conference at Llandaff

Report on Llandaff

Richard Seebohm

On 17-18 October 2007 Faith in Europe held a residential meeting at St Michael’s College, Llandaff, Cardiff.
The theme was Migrants and Refugees.

St Michael’s is the Anglican Theological College of Cardiff University. It is walking distance from Landaff Cathedral. Some 45 ordinands were around (a gender mix, of course). Its financial future is secure just now; disabled access and en suite rooms are a future priority.

As an introduction to the theme, Aled Edwards, CEO of CYTUN, gave us a run-through of Welsh history, leading up to the benefits and frustrations of partial devolution. Migrants had come to Wales (including Moroccans) ever since Roman times. Celtic Christianity was a feature. The last indigenous Prince of Wales, however, was Llewellyn, ousted by Edward I – he complained of being treated worse than a Jew or a Saracen. Until the seventeenth century Tudor settlements (as in Ireland), women could own land but Jews were persecuted – wearing the yellow star. Under Elizabeth, the Welsh Bible and Prayer Book anchored the language. In spite of Henry VII’s Welsh birth, however, all public offices went to the English. The industrial revolution (initially helped by slave trade proceeds) brought prosperity and Irish Catholics to Wales.

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