Churches and faith communities are standing together against Derwentside Immigration Removal Centre and the detention of women seeking asylum.

The Justice & Peace Co–ordinating Council for the Diocese have expressed concern at how the new arrangements mean that the Government, at a time of a national pandemic, is separating people into substandard camps without essential human services. These undermine human dignity and make the people who are forced to live there the targets for far–right groups.

A monthly prayer vigil is held outside the centre on the first Sunday of each month at 3pm, with upcoming dates in November and December. A short prayer service is held with solidarity shown between people of all faiths and none.

Liz Archibald, from the Justice and Peace Coordinating Council: ‘It is good to be witnessing why so many of us, as Catholics feel this centre is contrary to Gospel Values. I truly believe this has an impact on people both within the church and with those who do not have contact with the Church.’