Annual Christmas appeal teams up with Kirk's partner church in Syria
Scots are being urged to set an empty space at their Christmas table, donate £20, and help feed a Syrian family of five for a month.
The Church of Scotland’s A Place at the Table campaign is calling on the public to donate the cost of an average Christmas meal to help feed the thousands of destitute Syrian refugees.
Over the last two years the Place at the Table campaign has raised around £80,000 which has gone to the Kirk’s partner church, the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, to help support displaced families.
Rev Iain Cunningham, convener of the Church’s World Mission Council, said: "We can all feel powerless when we see the images of refugees and their living conditions in the media, but this is something simple and constructive we can all do to help.
It could be split between everyone who is dining out or if people are feeling generous
“A Christmas meal is the perfect opportunity for people to do this and now is when festive nights out are being organised with colleagues, friends and family. We have suggested an average of £20 which can feed a Syrian family of five for a month.
“It could be split between everyone who is dining out or if people are feeling generous, perhaps they could donate £20 each.”
Since 2011, the war in Syria has led to the displacement of around 11.6 million people, 7.6 million of whom have remained in Syria living as refugees in their own country.
Four million have fled to neighbouring countries, with some returning to Syria because the conditions in the refugee camps are so awful.
The National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon aims to support at least 24,000 families every year.
While £20 will provide a family of five with food for a month, they also are supporting families with hygiene products, fuel and rent costs.
“We can all do something… it’s as easy as setting an extra place at the table be that at home or in a restaurant,” Rev Cunningham added.
“Give the money you would have spent on feeding an extra person or people to our Syria appeal and help feed a family (or several families) for a whole month.”
Donations can be sent to World Mission Finance, Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN or via the Church of Scotland’s donation page.