This site supports the work of EMBRACE in building a welcoming community by providing background information, details of EVENTS and ideas for response. Please browse through the pages and if you require further information, CONTACT US


Some people fleeing the conflict in Syria are brought to Northern Ireland with refugee status and access to work and support through the UK government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme. Others arrive having made their own journey here and must seek refuge through the asylum process. In the September prayer letter a Syrian reflects on the experience of the asylum process and some of the challenges for those from Syria who come here. Download the prayer letter here.
Please use the prayer letter to inform your prayers.
Prayer sheets from previous months can be accessed here


jpit-peacemakingsunday-300x100Peacemaking Sunday: When I needed a neighbour   18 September
The Joint Public Issues Team comprising social justice expertise from the Baptist Union, the Methodist Church (UK), the Church of Scotland and the United Reformed Church encourages churches to stand in solidarity with refugees with themed services on Peacemaking Sunday. Under the title ‘When I needed a neighbour’ a number of resources for worship have been prepared and can be accessed here.

Community Relations & Cultural Awareness Week 19 – 25 September
Events to be held across Northern Ireland include some which raise awareness of cultural diversity here and provide opportunity to engage with people of different cultural backgrounds. See event programme

Faith and Life Convention   24 September
The Faith and Life Convention, an initiative of Down and Connor Diocese provides a forum for people from across the diocese, and beyond, to take part in a range of conversations about the meaning of faith and its relevance to every area of our lives. The keynote speaker will be Sarah Teather, former MP now Country Director for Jesuit Refugee Service UK, who will reflect on the current refugee crisis. Afternoon workshops will provide opportunity to explore the place of faith in a variety of contexts.
Venue: Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, Belfast
Date & Time: Saturday 24th September, from 10am
For more details, including seminar titles and to book your place visit the Conference website

Mission Conference: Loving and Serving the Nations       8th October
A day of learning what God is doing around the world, and how we can join him in his great story of loving and serving the nations. The seminars will focus on mission both in our own community and globally, as well as topical issues like climate change and poverty.
Venue: Emmanuel Church, 23a Castle Lane, Lurgan, Co. Armagh BT67 9BD
Date & Time: Saturday 8th October, from 9.30am – 4.30pm
For more details include conference fee and seminar titles visit MAP events listing.


To help provide information on the Syrian refugees coming to Northern Ireland within the context of the broader scope of asylum locally EMBRACE has prepared Refugees in Northern Ireland: some basic facts. Hard copies of this booklet are available free on request from our office.

For background information and the latest details on refugees being brought to Northern Ireland through the government’s Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme see our Syrian refugees in Northern Ireland page.

Building understanding in Churches

lampost3If your church is interested in learning more about migrant people and ways in which the local church can build relationships, EMBRACE can offer talks, workshops and migration awareness training. Please contact our office for more information on 028 9066 3145 or email
A list of what EMBRACE can offer church groups is available to view here.

English Classes

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There are many opportunities to improve English language ability with classes run in most towns across Northern Ireland, for details of classes and when they are run see our list here and on our English Language Classes page. If you know of any other classes which are not listed, or know of any changes to the information given, please send the details to our office,

For EMBRACE resources to support learning English see our toolkit.

New Resources 

For all EMBRACE resources visit our resources page

EMBRACE News Sheet 33 Autumn 2016
Our latest news sheet includes information on the refugee sponsorship scheme currently being piloted in England and an update on Syrian resettlement programme refugees in Northern Ireland.

Who’s Who? Who’s Here? 2015
A leaflet providing an overview of migration locally. Hard copies are available on request from our office.


The EMBRACE Hear My Voice DVD is a collection of personal reflections of migrant people and people seeking asylum as they settle in Northern Ireland, and includes some of the challenges and some thoughts about what the local church has done to help. The DVD can be viewed here, or a hard disc copy is available free on request from our office.

Information Sheets

EMBRACE has prepared a series of information sheets on aspects of migration
Opening our Eyes to the Reality of Human Trafficking Revised Spring 2015
Migration and Us Revised Spring 2015
Refugees in Northern Ireland Summer 2016
Responding to Racism Revised Spring 2015
Roma People Revised February 2014
The Polish Community Summer 2013
Attitudes Towards People of African Descent Autumn 2014
Opinions on Immigration in Northern Ireland Revised Spring 2015
Interfaith Relationships Autumn 2015
Syrian Refugees Summer 2016

Racial Equality Strategy Response

You can read the consultation response from EMBRACE to A Sense of Belonging: Delivering Social Change through a Racial Equality Strategy for Northern Ireland 2014–24 prepared by the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister here.


I was a stranger…

strangerNorthern Ireland is becoming richer in its diversity of culture and ethnicity as it becomes home to an increasing number of people from other countries. Some come seeking asylum, others to fill job vacancies or to study in our universities and colleges. There are also people from minority ethnic backgrounds who have always lived here. The needs of each are as individual as the experiences each person brings, but common to all is the desire to be safe and to know the acceptance of the local community.

…and you made me welcome 

welcomeEMBRACE seeks to equip the church to fulfil its call to welcome our new neighbours, by providing information, training, materials and channels for practical help. In doing this we seek to build a community which welcomes and respects diversity. See About Us for a fuller description of our activities.

On this site you will find information relating to the situation for people seeking asylum, refugees, migrant workers and people from resident minority ethnic backgrounds within Northern Ireland. There are also links to related sites. Please use our Contact Us link for further information or to comment on this site.


‘I was a stranger and you made me welcome’
Matthew 25:35

We have taken reasonable measures to check the accuracy of the information on this site and trust that it is useful. However, it is intended as a general summary of information and should not take the place of written law or regulations.

The inclusion of links to organisations in any section is not an endorsement of these groups. We cannot take responsibility for information contained on other websites.