Advent Sunday is on 3 December. It can be a forgotten season rather than, as it should be, marked by Christians as the “Lesser Lent”, a time for spiritual discipline, meditation and preparation for Christmas.

As congregations and church members look to Advent our annual diocesan Bishop’s Advent Appeal offers a practical challenge with a project which needs funds.

Bishop Robert writes; “This year’s Advent Appeal aims to support homeless refugees and asylum seekers in Rome with humanitarian assistance (a daily, cooked breakfast and essential items for personal dignity and warmth) for 6 months. We are doing this through a well-established and well-run project established by our Episcopal sister church of St. Paul’s Within the Walls.

“The Joel Nafuma Refugee Center assists approximately 17,000 people per year, and is the only day center open to receive homeless asylum seekers and refugees in Rome. Every day, JNRC welcomes 200-250 guests. The guests come from many different nations, including Mali, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Somalia, Pakistan, Guinea and the Ivory Coast. Half of them are homeless, sleeping in parks or on the pavement outside train stations.  

“While they wait for shelter, they are welcomed at JNRC, given a nutritious, cooked breakfast, as well as items for their personal dignity (toiletries, second-hand shoes, clothes and blankets), and offered legal advice.  If they wish, they can join a language lesson, learn to use a computer or simply watch the news on the TV.  JNRC has a multi-faith prayer space where guests can meditate and pray. 

“JNRC is the only place in Rome that takes in homeless and dormitory-housed refugees during the day, giving them a safe refuge from the streets.”

Please commit your support to this appeal and send us information and pictures about what you are doing during Advent to help. Please send your news to

You can read, download or share the full details of the Advent appeal HERE