We the undersigned, as people of faith, community representatives and concerned citizens, wish to raise objections about the proposal to temporarily accommodate 200 people seeking asylum on a site in Bedfordshire. We seek assurance that the wellbeing and human dignity of the proposed residents will be at the forefront of the decision-making process. 

The location of the proposed site is adjacent to Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre. We know that many of the intended residents will have experienced significant difficulties and trauma prior to their arrival. The proximity of this site to a centre used for detention could compound this suffering, and cause feelings of anxiety among residents seeking asylum. Furthermore, we are deeply concerned that vulnerable individuals will be housed at a location which is some distance from urban centres, significantly impacting their access to local services and community support. The proposed accommodation will consist of prefabricated style buildings, raising questions about the health and mental well-being of the residents, including risks associated with COVID19.

 We seek responses to the following questions from the Home Office and their contractor Serco Group PLC:

  • Have other more suitable options been exhausted, including hotel accommodation or other options closer to an urban centre such as Bedford or Luton?
  • How will you ensure that the physical and mental wellbeing of the proposed residents will be safeguarded?
  • Have the requisite social and environmental risk assessments been carried out?
  • Will local organisations be given adequate access to offer support in a COVID secure manner?
  • Will residents have adequate access to local institutions which can support their wellbeing, including places of worship?
  • Has the process of developing this site been conducted in a transparent manner with the full support of the local authorities?

We seek transparent answers to these questions, and the assurance that nobody will be housed on this site until these matters have been given full consideration, so that we and the communities we represent can extend the compassion, welcome and support that all human beings, with inherent worth and dignity, deserve

Add your name to this letter here.


Full name Organisation  Role
Rehana Faisal Lantern  Chair
The Rev’d Luke Larner Red Letter Christians UK Chaplain
Faisal Hussain Luton Sunni Council of Mosques General Secretary
Imam Muhammad Rayhan Luton Council of Mosques General Secretary
Sufian Sadiq Discover Islam Chairman
Tony Thompson Hope Church Luton Leader
Peter Adams St Marys Centre for Peace and Reconciliation Director
Lucie Shuker City Life Church Luton Church Leader
Attiq Malik Liberty Law Solicitors Lawyer & Human Rights Activist
Henry Cross Rock And Redeemer Vineyard Church Pastor
The Rev’d Tony Rindl St. Mary’s Watford, Three Rivers Refugee Partnership Vicar
Dr Fatima Rajina Stephen Lawrence Research Centre Legacy in Action Research Fellow
Revd Cassandra Howes  Bedford Council of Faiths Chair
T Kalyan Bhagwan Valmik Temple Bedford President
Rev’d Peter R. Kay Benefice of Milton Ernest, Pavenham & Thurleigh Priest-In-Charge
Jane Godley TSSF The Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis, Bedford Group Convenor 
The Revd Canon Kevin Goss St Pauls Church, Bedford,  and Member of the General Synod of the Church of England Vicar 
Rev. Andrew Hollins North Bedfordshire Methodist Circuit / Churches Together Bedfordshire Superintendent Minister / Chair
Marc James Three Rivers Church Bedford Elder
Dr. Virendra Soni Bedford Council of Faiths Vice Chair
Rev. Marcus Ottaviani St Mary’s Goldington Assistant Curate
Taj Ali Freelance Journalist
Sanjeev Kumar  Shri Guru Ravidass Sangat Luton General Secretary 
Rajiv Sidhu
Zafar Khan Luton Council of Faiths  Chair 
Gulie Butcher  Luton Council of Faiths  Co-chair 
David Jonathon  Luton Council of Faiths  Director
Ramnik Gohil  Luton Council of Faiths   Trustee
Kishore Kaler Luton Council of Faiths  Treasurer
Ryad Khodabocus  Luton Council of Faiths  Head of Community Relations & Development 
Ray Gaston Church of St Chad and St Mark Vicar
The Rev’d Ray Gaston Church of St Chad and St Mark, Parish of Central Wolverhampton Vicar
Revd Robb Sutherland Vicar
Naomi Bennett  Red Letter Christians UK Co-Executive Director (CEO)
Charlotte Gibson The Women’s Theology Network Co-founder (and Ordained, Church of England)
Mostaque koyes  Community Interest luton  Chair 
Caroline Weaver Ther Methodist Church Minister and Prison Chaplain
Peter Gerrish Bedford Council Of Faiths Secretary
Revd Caroline Weaver North Bedford Methodist Circuit
Danielle Wilson Red Letter Christians UK & Inclusive Gathering Birmingham Co-CEO, Methodist Pioneer Lay Minister
Jennifer Shirley Taylor
Wendi Momen Northill Baha’is, Bedfordshire
Debbie Clark
Debbie Clark
Ali wilson 
Michael Kane Church of the Nazarene / Nazarene Theological College Pastor / Chaplain
Susan Lennon
Revd. Sophie Cowan Priest
J Huntley
Tim Ferguson
Tim Ferguson 
Sujel Miah  Bangladesh Youth League  Trustee 
Melissa Llewellyn The Courtney Foundation Trustee
Charlotte Gibson The Women’s Theology Network Co-founder (and Ordained, Church of England)
The Rev’d Jarel Robinson-Brown King’s College London Associate Chaplain
Rev. Ian Rutherford Methodist Central Hall, Manchester City Centre Minister
Mostaque koyes  Community Interest luton  Chair 
Jack Belloli Ripon College Cuddesdon / Diocese of Ely Ordinand in the Church of England
Rev. Jon Price Assistant Curate