Bishop of Ely calls fears over migration from Romania and Bulgaria “scare-mongering”

Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway

Bishop of Ely, Rt Revd Stephen Conway - Credit: Archant

Fears about an influx of economic migrants from Romania and Bulgaria have been dismissed as “scare-mongering” by the Bishop of Ely.

In his Christmas sermon, the Rt Rev Stephen Conway said many Romanians were already in the country, working on farms and making a “good contribution to our economy”. He said there was much we could learn from them.

The bishop spoke as quota restrictions preventing workers from Romania and Bulgaria coming into Britain and gaining access to the NHS and the benefit system were scrapped.

The lifting of restrictions has provoked controversy across the country, with UKIP leader Nigel Farage branding the plans “sheer lunacy”.

Bishop Conway likened the attitudes of some towards the arrival of the migrants as “tribal” in nature and said there was much we could learn from them.

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In his sermon he said: “The church in Sudan has been ­combating tribalism with the message of unity in Christ. There is clearly much more to do.

“The same is true of us. The tribes are just different.

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“The idea that a flood of Romanians is on the way here is scaremongering.

“Romanians are working on our farms in this region already and making a good contribution to our economy.

“As we take our freedoms for granted, maybe we have much to learn from them as a people emerging from centuries of oppression how to live free and remain faithful to God.”

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