A Church of England bishop has called for calm over the deadly Ebola virus and urged UK residents to focus on the “desperate need” of people in Africa rather than the extremely small possibility of it emerging in this country.
The Bishop of Croydon, Jonathan Clark, said many Anglican congregations in London have worshippers in particular from Sierra Leone, one of the three worst affected countries.
The Southwark diocese has thousands of refugees from Sierra Leone who fled the civil war, which lasted from 1991 to 2002 and devastated the country. They settled mainly in the Walworth and Peckham areas. Asylum seekers from more recent conflicts settled in Croydon itself because it is where claims are processed and where they have to report.
Bishop Clark, who recently added his voice to those calling for more refugees to be admitted to Britain from Syria in the wake of the onslaught by Islamic State, said: “There are a lot of people from Church of England in churches across the Southwark diocese.
“They cannot do the thing they would normally do, which is to go home. That would be just to put themselves and everyone else in danger. They are anxious and bereaved.”
Neighbours, friends and the wider population here can help by resisting the temptation to panic.