Monday of the 2nd week of Lent, 26th February

Lenten Journeys

Monday of the 2nd week of Lent, 26th February

Therese, one of our refugee friends, was detained while seeking asylum in the UK

26 February 2018

Monday of the 2nd week of Lent, 26th February


From Today’s Daily Mass Readings:

“Let your compassion hasten to meet us; we are left in the depths of distress.”
Psalm 78

Throughout Lent, we invite you into a space of accompaniment by journeying alongside some of our refugee friends. Where do we see God’s compassion in their stories?

Therese’s Story

This week we will introduce you to Therese, one of our refugee friends who we have accompanied for many years and who spent time in detention.

Therese has been in the UK for nearly 20 years. Amidst a continuous cycle of fresh applications and appeals, Therese lives in constant fear of being detained in one of the UK’s 10 detention centres (formally known as Immigration Removal Centres). The Home Office often remove people to detention centres without warning, and often without a clear reason, “You never know if they might take you away that day.

Therese was preparing for an appeal hearing when, unexpectedly, enforcement officers came to her home late at night, and took her to a detention centre. She wasn’t allowed to collect personal belongings and was taken only in the clothes she was wearing. The experience was a shock to Therese:

I was surprised they came into my home to take me to detention … I know I have never done anything to be deported. I have been here 17 years … I never ran away or tried to escape


Join us tomorrow as we continue our journey with Therese

Therese’s story is real, however we have changed her name to protect her privacy


The system of immigration detention in the UK is unique among European countries, as there is currently no limit on the length of time someone can be detained for. The refugees we serve live in perpetual fear that they could be detained at any moment. Immigration detention is an administrative process, which means that the initial decision to detain someone is in the hands of a Home Office official and is not automatically put in front of a judge for review.

Today we invite you to learn more about the process of immigration detention in the UK and the constant fear it brings to those seeking asylum. Inform yourself and reflect on the difficulties detention poses for those coming to Britain seeking safety.
[Read Beatrice’s blog on indefinite detention]

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JRS UK are grateful to Therese for sharing her story with us. Please do not reproduce without permission.
Image credit: Fence image – Photo by Feifei Peng on Unsplash

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Jesuit Refugee Service UK
The Hurtado Jesuit Centre
2 Chandler Street, London E1W 2QT

020 7488 7310

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