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Churches help family hit with racist abuse
9:00am Wednesday 20th February 2013 in News
A family suffering “appalling” racist abuse and extortion threats has been offered support from a group of churches.
The Reverend Steve Davie said people who tried to start a fresh life in a new country should be applauded, not victimised, for their initiative and bravery.
He said he was saddened to read in yesterday’s Telegraph & Argus about the bullying of the Szynalska family which led to a mother fleeing abroad with her children to protect them.
The family home, in Heysham Drive, Holme Wood, has had bricks thrown through windows, which damaged the cooker, and the father has been screamed at by men who said they would leave the family alone in exchange for cash.
Mr Davie said he was “horrified” when he read what the family had been through.
“I’ve heard one or two bits and pieces like this, but what I’ve heard before is kids being a bit of a nuisance. There is a difference between that and what seems to be people starting out to be actively racist. I think that’s such a shame. It’s terrible.
“I feel very sorry for the people doing it as well because they have a very limited understanding of people.”
Speaking on behalf of all churches and the community council in Holme Wood, Mr Davie said: “We welcome people of all nationalities and backgrounds and reject any form of racism in Holme Wood.
“In our own church at St Christopher’s we have families from 16 nations and we run a Culture Club, a network to support residents and visitors.
“The same is true for each of the other churches where there are active members from Europe, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Holme Wood Ethnic Minorities acts on behalf of the whole community.”
Mr Davie said the churches network offered services such as advice regarding benefits.The vicar said he was keen to let people know that he and other clergy were available to speak to. He will be contacting the Szynalska family about their situation.
Mrs Szynalska, who is in Poland, last night said she was grateful for Mr Davie’s offer. She intends to return on Friday, but will leave her toddler daughters with their grandparents.
e-mail: julie.tickner @telegraphandargus.co.uk