Bishop John Arnold met asylum seekers last week in Manchester

The Bishop of Salford has told refugees and asylum seekers to learn English in order to counter hostility.

During a visit to the asylum seeker charity Revive last week, Bishop John Arnold said: “Always hold on to hope. Life has been difficult and you’re looking for a better life with us. I wish my country was a little bit more welcoming, but I say you are welcome here.

“I want you to be easily accepted and to find work, so I would encourage you to learn English. Here we are terrible with languages, so to learn our language will really help you.”

The purpose of Bishop Arnold’s visit was to see first hand what the charity was doing for asylum seekers in Manchester and Salford and to meet asylum seekers and refugees.

Following the visit, Bishop Arnold said: “This is a truly cosmopolitan response to a cosmopolitan problem – this is what’s so great about Manchester. What you’re doing here is so important for the integration and empowerment of refugees.

“This is how I see the Church being missionary – it’s very impressive,” the bishop said.

Revive is a member of the Caritas Diocese of Salford network of charities.