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


The May 2017 Prayer Letter tells of the trauma of facing deportation experienced by children and expressed in physical forms including falling unconscious. Psalm 88 voices similar pain without a hopeful resolution. We are encouraged to remember in our prayers those who are in this situation, awaiting decisions on whether they will be returned to a country they have fled, and those waiting to be deported.  
Please use the prayer letter to inform your prayers.
Prayer sheets from previous months can be accessed here

MAY 2017

The EMBRACE AGM will be held on Thursday 18th May at 7.30pm in Edgehill Theological College, 9 Lennoxvale, Belfast BT9 5BY. This is an open meeting and all are most welcome to attend.

EMBRACE Spring Meeting – Northern Ireland: Still a Place of Refuge?
Thursday 18th May | 8pm |Edgehill Theological College, 9 Lennoxvale, Belfast BT9 5BY

The annual EMBRACE Spring Meeting which follows the EMBRACE AGM will consider Northern Ireland: Still a Place of Refuge? Margaret McNulty, EMBRACE Information Officer, will provide an overview of the history of refugee reception in the north of Ireland and the I am more than a Label exhibition provides insights into contemporary refugee experiences.

Further details of the AGM and Spring Meeting are available here.

New ESOL Class in Coleraine
A 6 week ESOL course will be run at the Sandel Centre, Coleraine on Wednesday evenings from 7pm to 8.45pm. The course begins on Wednesday 3rd May and registration will take place on April 26th, from 7pm to 8.45pm at the Sandel Centre. The course will cost £10 for 6 weeks, and lessons are taught by qualified ESOL teachers at 3 levels of abilities. For more information contact Tomek on 028 2766 5068 or email

New Friendship Club in North Belfast
North Belfast Friendship Club runs every Tuesday evening, from 6pm to 8pm in R-City cafe (in the Houben Centre, by Holy Cross Church at the junction of the Woodvale Road and the Crumlin Road). Everyone, whether new to Belfast or a life-time resident, young or old, is welcome to call in for conversation and refreshments. See facebook page

Call for contributions to support Syrian Refugees in Northern Ireland
The consortium tasked with providing support to Syrian refugees brought to Northern Ireland through the UK government’s Vulnerable Person’s Relocation Scheme has greatly appreciated the contributions of goods and financial  support given by individuals and groups over the past year. With more refugees arriving, continued support is needed, and the consortium has provided a list of suggested items for donation.



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.

If you would like to provide practical assistance, please see a list of suggested means of support.

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

churchhall3 (1)

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? 2017
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
Human Trafficking & Modern Slavery Revised Autumn 2016
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 Spring 2017
Attitudes Towards People of African Descent Autumn 2014
Opinions on Immigration in Northern Ireland Revised Spring 2015
Interfaith Relationships Revised Winter 2016/17
Syrian Refugees Summer 2016
Poverty and Destitution in Asylum System Winter 2016/17
Poverty & Destitution Experienced by People from Other Countries Winter 2016/17

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.